Since shortly after the fall of the prison during The Walking Dead's fourth season on AMC, fans have wondered: Who took Beth Greene?
The setup for Beth's disappearance was ominous: after a story that focused heavily on her and Daryl making their way through the woods together, forging a stronger bond, drinking some moonshine and ultimately finding a new shelter, Beth injured her ankle, which seemed innocuous enough except that it set up everything that came after.
The house they were staying in was shockingly well-stocked, amazingly clean...but abandoned. Candles, clean sheets and a full pantry seemed a bit too good to be true -- and then a small herd of walkers made their way inside. Daryl was forced to fight them off himself, helping Beth get outside and out of the danger since her injury made her a liability in a fight. By the time he made his way out the door, though, she was gone.
Beth was taken by somebody in a car that appeared to have a cross in the back window -- and that's literally all we know. We never saw the car, or Beth, again last season and she didn't appear in the season finale.
The group had been separated, and by the time Daryl finally rejoined Rick, Carl and Michonne on the road to Terminus, so much else had happened that they didn't really discuss what had happened in the interim -- at least not onscreen.
Her sister Maggie and brother-in-law Glenn, meanwhile, spent so much time looking for one another, each believing that finding their spouse would be the key to finding the rest of the group, that it caused some fans to question whether they were thinking about Beth at all.
"At one point are people making peace with things or at what point are people not bringing these things up because you don't know what the other person's fate is?" Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn on the show, told us. "It's this incredible world that we live in that the audience is able to know that Beth was alive with Daryl at that time, but as a character, you don't know what's happening. You're blind and if you're living in this world, you're probably assuming that she's gone. But not saying it! Why would you want to address something like that. But I think definitely Beth is on their mind, Beth is something that they're actively striving for and Beth is someone that they love. But they're also trying to fight that idea with the aspect of reality that exists, which is that this world eats people up, literally."
A number of possibilities were tossed around as to who might have taken her. Some -- like the Marauders, the group that later took on Daryl as a member before Rick killed them -- have already been disproven and some -- Father Gabriel, seen alone and fighting for his life against a herd of walkers in previews for this weekend's episode -- seem unlikely.
Still others are plausible. Could she have been at Terminus? It seems unlikely, but in a compound that size it isn't impossible. Nick Parsons and Jesus could still be in play. And if there's one thing that feels like it could really happen, it's that her captors might relate to the Alexandria Safe Zone or the Saviors, figures from the comics that figure prominently into what, timing wise, seems to be the next big stop at midseason or the season finale.
We've even seen a little bit of...wherever she is...in the Comic Con trailer released this summer:
The police officer played by Christine Woods is unfamiliar from the comics -- indeed, everything there is, which is handy since while Robert Kirkman and company have repeatedly said that they're adapting the comic books closer than ever, Beth doesn't actually exist in them and so anything can happen when she's at the heart of the story.
That said, the hospital or compound where she's located seems like it's a great place to hole up and survive -- which means it's only a matter of time before it attracts unwanted attention from the likes of The Hunters...or even Rick and his group.