With Andrew Lincoln celebrating after reading the finale of The Walking Dead's seventh season, a lot of us are left wondering how that final hour of 16-episode run will play out. Following eight episodes filled with the oppression, bullying, and humiliation of Rick Grimes, one has to wonder how much of a bounce back the character will see that has the actor so excited.
The first thought is, "Will Rick finally kill Negan?"
The answer to that in simply, "No."
As exciting as it would be to see Negan on his knees, knife to his throat from Daryl as Rick presses his python against the villain's forehead, it's not going to happen. Not only is Jeffrey Dean Morgan already on board for Season 8 running through 2017 and 2018, the character's role in the comics is much more significant than the bully we've come to know on television. We're just getting started.
With Negan's death out of the question, there is a number of ways the season can play out.
We know, based on the Season 7B teaser trailer, that Rick Grimes will meet King Ezekiel and propose aligning Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom into a joint army to take on Negan and the Saviors. Given the pace of the series historically, we don't expect the march to war and all of its battles to play out in the next eight hours, though. At a pace of about 20 issues per season, the series currently meets an storyline equivalent to that of issue #111 of The Walking Dead comics. Right on pace.
If the show were to reach issue #120, we would end Season 7 with the second major battle between Negan's Saviors and Rick's army. After delivering a zombified Holly to Alexandria, Negan unleashes his soldiers on the Safe-Zone, tossing grenades left and right and destroying much of the community. The Saviors inarguably have the upper hand until the cavalry arrives in the form of Maggie's Hilltop soldiers.
The Hilltop's reinforcements are enough to drive Negan and the Saviors out of Alexandria. It is kind of a win for the Safe-Zone and they will most certainly take them where they can get them in such an underdog war.
Thus far, this article has been filled with speculation based on knowledge of the comics. Beyond this point, we will explore a few potential spoilers from the set of The Walking Dead -- you've been warned.
The popular spoiler group, The Spoiling Dead Fans, rounded up photos from the final days of filming The Walking Dead's seventh season. The photos only back-up the theories regarding issue #120 being the culmination of Season 7. Clouds of smoke and explosions were seen on the set, giving us reason to believe that the grenade battle with Negan will be in full effect in the show's final hours.
Further reports of chanting from inside the walls indicate Alexandria's first celebration and moment of happiness since Negan's introduction in the Season 6 finale.
MORE WALKING DEAD:
Andrew Lincoln's Epic Reaction To Season 7 Finale / New Season 7B Key Art / Violent Takes Were Removed From Midseason Finale / Best Moments of 2016 / Negan Featured in #162 Preview / Five Worst Storylines / Who Will Be The Next Major Death? / AMC Stock Takes Hit With TWD Ratings Drops
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.