Its been little over a week since The Walking Dead Season 6 concluded with one of the most momentous, and ill-conceived cliffhangers in television history. During this past week, many of the show’s executive producers have gone on record and stated that the finale was meant to introduce Negan, with the character death to be uncovered in Season 7 of The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, fans have reacted in the complete opposite way, with the internet exploding with fan theories and “scientific” videos attempting to figure out who Negan killed.
Some of these videos have included detailed analyses of Negan’s scene, including his positioning between the characters, the characters’ positioning with each other, slowed down and enhanced audio of Negan’s speech, and even the placement of the trees behind Negan when he makes his kill. It’s all pretty exhausting to follow.
So, Who Do We Have to Blame for This?
The biggest person to blame for all of this hullabaloo is creator Robert Kirkman, since on The Talking Dead he explicitly stated that “there are clues” in the finale as to who Negan killed. However, a mere 24-hours later, show runner Scott Gimple came out and said, “I believe there is no way. There are a couple things in there that might help people possibly kind of limit the amount of people who are vulnerable, but I would say I would like people not to go down that route because I don’t think — I truly don’t think — there is a way to puzzle is all out definitively.”
So, Why is No One Listening?
Fan reaction to the finale has not been well received. According to a study done by Canvs, 70% of tweets regarding the finale were negative, with these tweets including words such as “crazy,” “dislike,” “hate,” and “upset.” This hatred has fueled fans to take any means necessary to try and figure out the cliffhanger for the rest of the fan base. After all, who doesn’t want to be a national hero?
So, Why Are Fans Wasting Their Time?
Whether you want to believe it or choose to live in a fantasy world for the next 6 months until the Season 7 premiere, staring at the finale video will get you no closer to figuring out who Negan killed than taking a plain and simple guess. Nearly ever actor and executive producer has gone on record to state that even they do not know who Negan killed. As recent as today, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said “I want to know what happens next too – believe me! Honestly, I do not know who it is.” But don’t take their word for it – here is what else we know so far:
Filming Doesn’t Start Again Until May
The Walking Dead has not yet filmed the second half of the season-ending cliffhanger, which means that it’s still open to change. Show runners have said they hope to keep the secret under wraps for as long as possible, with even the cast not yet aware.
Negan’s Head Smashing Scene Was Filmed Separately from His Speech
A few months ago, leaked video of Jeffrey Dean Morgan shooting his infamous bat scene was leaked online. In it, you could see Morgan swinging his bat down on a dummy bag. Therefore, analyzing the scene from the finale to try and figure out who was killed is frivolous, as the cast wasn’t even present. The trees behind Morgan in the scene were likely digitally added post-production.
Contract Negotiations Could Be the Real Killer
Rumors have been circling lately that many actors’ contracts are in negotiations. This could explain why almost the entire main cast was involved in that finale scene. It’s also been rumored that actor Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, supposedly signed a one-year contract in his last negotiation for The Walking Dead with AMC. It’s possible that the season ended on a cliffhanger because contract negotiations might determine who gets the axe in the Season 7 premiere.
The Writers Don’t Care About Logic or Positioning
At the end of the day, the writers and producers are going to do whatever they want to do. Since the two scenes will have been filmed separately, it’s unlikely that the Season 7 scene will be recreated the exact same way we saw it in Season 6. The writers will take creative liberties to make the death they select work, which means that Negan’s stance at the end of his speech really doesn’t matter at the end of the day.
And Most Importantly…
When the scene was written and later shot, it’s highly likely show runners didn’t know who they wanted to off. Although the show tends to market themselves from the perspective that “no one is safe,” there has been a surprising lack of major character deaths in the past few seasons. As the show gains steam and the characters begin to develop their own fan bases (we’re looking at you, Reedus), it’s likely the writers weigh this more heavily, as AMC and The Walking Dead doesn’t want to kill a character that could impact ratings negatively. So, taking the time to figure out how to make a less important character seem more important might be the new normal for The Walking Dead.
We’ve done our analysis as to why we think fans are wasting their time speculating. Now we want to hear your thoughts. Let us know if fans are wasting their time, or if they’re the unsung heroes of the fandom in the comments section below.
Be sure to stay with TWDEnthusiasts.com during the off-season for real spoilers for The Walking Dead, including set photos that might hint at the actual person killed in the Season 7 premiere.