This theory comes a little late compared to the countless others that have been invented since the infamous episode, but that is only because I've been working very hard on materializing it.
Now, before you read on, if you have not seen the season six finale of The Walking Dead, this article will contain spoilers. I'll leave a bit of space before I go on (I know how people get with spoilers, I'm the same way).
Ok, hopefully that is enough space. I'd like to begin by saying that I enjoyed the season finale, all things considered. It was tense and eerie and really quite disturbing in all the best kind of ways. That being said, leading up to the episode aired, I had read so much about how wild and crazy it was going to be and how actors went straight catatonic after reading it. Was this a good episode? Absolutely! Did it meet the hype? Not in my opinion. However, the cliff hanger was as shocking as anything they'd done in the previous seasons. The point of view aspect was particularly killer - pun intended.
So here's my off-the-wall, hair brained, out the rabbit hole theory. Actually theory probably isn't an accurate word. It's really more of a thought: what if episode sixteen of season six, "The Last Day on Earth" was the end of the The Walking Dead? Hear me out. What if this episode were the series finale? What a way to end?! Now, just for a minute, relieve your mind of what you know about season seven of The Walking Dead. Now just think about this episode. Actually, not even the whole episode. Just think about the scene when we are introduced to Negan. That scene was very intense because of nearly impeccable acting. But then Negan says that he is going to have to introduce someone to Lucille, his barb wired bat. He goes down the line and the camera focuses on everyone for a brief moment but when he decides, we see Negan as if he is speaking to the viewer. He swings Lucille and smacks what is essentially the camera at this point. Just as the bat makes contact, the screen moves as if it were a head and blood drips down the screen. A harrowing filming technique, for sure, but perhaps it means something a bit more. What if the writers decided to throw us something completely different and killed off the viewer? The show goes on but the viewer dies. Most series finales are endings on and off the screen. The Walking Dead is a show that pushes boundaries and says "screw you" to television stereotypes. It's only fitting that it end how it lived: inventively and shockingly. Plus, look at the name of the episode! "The Last Day on Earth". That sounds an awful lot like an ending to me. Negan killed the viewer. He killed YOU! How crazy an ending is that?
Ok, let's come back to reality. This is not the finale of The Walking Dead, obviously. There's a seventh season, everyone knows that. But there could still be something there. Maybe this is the end of The Walking Dead as we know it. Negan is going to be a massive problem for the whole gang. Someone is already dead, and he's had like ten minutes of screen time. My guess is, a lot more people are going to die. And by a lot, I mean main characters. Not just side main characters like Father Gabriel, Eugene, and Tara. I'm talking Michonne, Glen, Carl, even Rick. Things need to change. Maybe Negan's brutal bat kill might just be the beginning of these changes. But, if I had to guess, I would say that the creators are too smart to dive into the deep end with this. I imagine they will start smaller. I think the character that was killed is someone that, up to this point in the series, had not had much to do, but was on track to be a large piece in the show. Someone that was developing. Someone that would be a disappointment to lose, but that wouldn't cause the show to lose viewers. Someone like Eugene. It's perfect. He was just starting to get some agency. Personally I was not a huge fan of Eugene until this season and now I rather like him. Eugene is my actual guess for who died, but I think he is only the beginning. I feel as though this season - season seven - will lead to Rick's end. Whether it is at the hands of Negan or something else entirely remains to be seen, but this is my interpretation of where the show needs to go.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of this craziness down below!