Season 7 of The Walking Dead can’t come soon enough so that light can finally be shed on season 6’s annoying cliffhanger. With just a few weeks to go until AMC’s hit shows returns, a new clip from the first episode was released, bringing us several huge clues. The following video contains several spoilers though, so don’t watch it if you’d prefer to be surprised.
The following clip was shown during a Walking Dead panel at New York Comic-Con. It’s a 3:35 minutes sequence from the first episode, which happens immediately after Negan is done butchering his first victim from the Alexandria group.
The first thing we learn is that Rick isn’t the victim, as he’s seen on his knees in front of Negan. The stain of fresh blood on his face tells us that the person who Negan just killed is on Rick’s right side. Here’s how the Alexandria crew is sitting in front of Negan before the murder:
Rick, being Rick and all, threatens Negan right off the bat — pun intended. He tells Negan that he will kill him. Maybe not right now, or maybe not tomorrow, but he will kill him. To that, Negan responds with a speech about right hands and how you can’t do without them.
Does he refer to a person that he just killed? Daryl, Michonne and Maggie were all sitting on Rick’s right side, and any of them could be considered to be a worthy right hand.
One eagled eye fan saw one other detail in the clip, a ring sitting in a pool of fresh blood on the ground. That appears to be Maggie’s ring. Remember this plausible theory that said Maggie and not Glenn is going to be killed? Well, this clip seems to confirm it.
But that’s not everything that’s being teased here. Negan is so annoyed with Rick that he’s determined to punish him in one way or another. Fans of the comics will probably think that Negan will chop off his right hand, but Gizmodo rightly points out that might not happen.
It should be pretty clear by now that the TV series and comics will not be identical. And that means Rick doesn’t have to lose his hand. Part of the reasoning behind this decision is related to the financial costs involved with the special effects required to show Rick without a hand.
“I campaigned two seasons ago when the Governor was around… I was saying, ‘You’ve gotta do the hand guys!’” Lincoln said in 2015. “And Victor, who was in charge of special effects, just said, ‘No, no no no. Anybody else but not you. It’ll cost a fortune with green screen and blue screen.’”
That doesn’t mean it’s completely out of the questions for the showrunners, of course. Just that it’s improbable. At the same time, we’ll point out that the clip’s purpose might be to mislead us into thinking we’ve got things figured out.
If there’s one thing that’s absolutely obvious is that Negan is playing a whole different game than any earlier Walking Dead villains. Just look at his bat after that atrocious kill.