It's the eternal question on The Walking Dead: Who will make it through this week's episode?
Well, it certainly seems as though we're looking at at least one fatality in the near future, if last week's episode is any indication. And if the comics hold fairly true (which we've been repeatedly told they will this year more than ever before), it means at least one pretty serious bloodbath coming up.
Plus, you've got a few characters who, given the fact that they were already dead by this point in the comics or simply didn't exist in the source material, are true wildcards and not only they but everything directly related to them cannot be predicted by the comics.
What can we predict? That none of the Grimes family will make this list -- and neither will Michonne or some other supporting characters who seem likely to have a longer trajectory and more potential for story than others.
Spoilers for both the show up to this point, and the comics. Obviously.
Well, he's obviously gone.
Kidnapped by cannibals, Bob has been partially dismembered and eaten. Not only is that a HUGE red flag for anybody wondering whether he'll make it, but he got the "kiss of death" from his girlfriend before heading out into the woods, where he broke down crying before his abduction.
What was that all about?
Well, in the comics, this whole storyline happened almost verbatim to Dale (who, of course, is long gone on TV and had to be replaced). After the cannibals started to eat him, we discovered that Dale had been bitten already and was "tainted meat." The Cannibals were disgusted, and worried about infection, and it gave Dale a memorable sendoff.
Of course, that was in part necessary because Dale was a major character who had been around for most of the series, whereas Bob was a character we were all waiting to become cannon fodder. And in the world of the TV show, "we're all infected." So whether it would have quite the same impact is hard to say.
He's a series regular, so in spite of being the villain, he makes the list...
...and yeah, he's a goner. Whether Bob is tainted meat or not, it doesn't matter. As Rick said of Gareth and his group back at Terminus, "they don't get to live."
And if it's anything like the comics, it will be gruesome, traumatic and cathartic all at once.
It's hard to say whether they'd kill her off right away, but I don't think Sasha is long for this world.
In tonight's episode, we've seen in previews that she's impacted by the sudden absence of her boyfriend, and distrustful of Father Gabriel. It seems she's about to do something rash, which almost always gets you killed in this show.
That said, they might hold it off until they need Tyreese to go into Beast Mode. It's obvious -- especially after seeing the character he "killed" in the season premiere eating peacefully with the other Terminians around the campfire -- that he still hasn't had the push needed to make him a member of Rick's new, uncompromising world order.
I don't see her making it out of this season, as much as I would like her to.
Separated from the group and apparently existing in a world at least partially-inspired by The Walking Dead video games, Beth won't die before she meets back up with Daryl and possibly the rest of the group...but in a season where producers have said they're hewing as closely to the comics as they ever have, the Daryl/Carol/Beth group seem at risk for a big loss or two considering two of the three (Daryl and Beth) don't exist in the comics and the third (Carol) was dead by this point in the story.
They also have this long-running motif of restoring hope only to immediately take it away again. It wouldn't surprise me to see Beth be a variation on Sophia, and to give her just enough time with the group for her sister to say good-bye (not unlike Andrea in Season 1).
If not for the fact that Beth's death would tie so neatly into existing The Walking Dead patterns of behavior, Tara would be the top female name on this list.
She, like Bob, has always felt like a character who has been just waiting to die since she was introduced. The potential for her story -- the idea that there could be tension between herself and the rest of the group because she came into the show as one of The Governor's soldiers -- was officially spent when she was forgiven by Maggie last week, leaving no obvious direction for her character save one...
I don't think we'll lose both of the ladies Daryl has spent most of the last two seasons with, but certainly one of them is on the chopping block...and while Beth seems like the obvious answer (she's the least capable physically of the three, plus injured twice over), the loss of Carol would be a profound one for the group and would give her crowning moment of badass in the premiere even more weight.
Melissa McBride has also drawn accolades for her performance on the show, and while an actor of her caliber is always someone you want around, the next best thing is giving her a sufficiently juicy exit.
Much has been made of the possibility that Glenn could die this year to pave the way for Negan (see below), but for some reason most people have overlooked the fact that Abraham took an arrow through the eye when Negan's group first turned up -- the first true act of war from the Saviors.
A fan-favorite character whose TV counterpart doesn't particularly resemble what most people remember from the comics, Tyreese seems likely to either snap and be radically changed this season, or die upholding his principles of nonviolence.
This is a death that many fans are eagerly anticipating, because they believe Glenn will, like in the comics, mean the start of Negan and "All-Out War" when he finally goes.
And that's fair; while they often change moments -- especially big ones people think they'll see and talk about years in advance -- for the TV series, actor Steven Yeun recently told us that he feels the scene was pretty much perfect.
"How great and iconic is that moment? Sometimes you just have to deliver it the way it was intended," Yeun told us. "We'll see what happens but I feel like the way that Kirkman wrote that end for him was magical in a way. You don't get to have a long speech or you don't get to have a whole diatribe about where you're at as a character at that point in time and then be killed, it's just you're done. And I think that's so ruthless and brutal and so apropos for the show."