Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 10 follow.
The Walking Dead is teasing the dark fate of Rick Grimes' hand once again. During Sunday night's New Best Friends episode, the leader of Alexandria was forced into a gladiatorial match with a walker decked out in spikes and knives.
In an effort to keep the walker from impaling, stabbing, or -- worse -- biting him, Rick reached for its head and tried to hold it back. Instead of getting a clean grip on the walker, a knife protruding from the walker's head was jammed cleanly through Rick's hand.
Rick managed to free himself a defeat the walker but not before the damage was done.
Fans of The Walking Dead comics immediately jumped off of their couches and yelled, "He's going to lose his hand!" Okay, maybe not, but someone somewhere probably did.
This is because in Robert Kirkman's books, the fearless leader lost his hand much earlier than the point the TV series has reached. It was the Governor who cut off Rick's right hand at the wrist, making the man a southpaw for the following 130+ issues which have been published to date.
Is this the instance where Rick finally loses his hand on the TV series? Probably not.
"You know, I campaigned two seasons ago when the Governor was around... I was saying, 'You've gotta do the hand guys!' And Victor [Scalise], 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,'" Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln told ComicBook.com ahead of the show's sixth season.. "But you know, I'm of the opinion that certainly with where the story seems to be going this season, no one is safe of any long term damage."
Rick's hand will likely avoid infection once again, hardly being the first time the AMC series has teased the loss of his extremity as a result of comic book adaptation expectations. On the following slides, we explore the other instances which saw fans expecting Rick to lose his hand on television.
Early in Season 6, fans thought Rick's hand would suffer the same fate as Hershel's leg.
As Rick ran back to Alexandria to warn them of an impending herd of walkers, he encountered a couple of strays on the road. One of the walkers had a machete protruding from its collar bone. As Rick put the walker down, he cut his hand on the machete which was presumably covered with the zombie virus. By definition of The Walking Dead's mythology, Rick would have to lose his hand in order to avoid turning if this were the case.
Fortunately for Rick, it apparently was a clean machete. He wrapped his hand in a bandage and managed to recover.
Killing Glenn and Abraham wasn't enough for Negan. Instead, the villain had to really break Rick Grimes by taking him on a joy ride in the RV.
Prior to yanking Rick from his place in the line-up, he asked Simon, Negan's right hand man, for Rick's hatchet. Inside the RV, Negan repetitively appeared to be preparing to cut off Rick's hand. In fact, he even slammed the hatchet into the table next to Rick's hand, prompting a collective gasp among fans of The Walking Dead.
Ultimately, the hatchet was only used to force Rick to accept cutting his own son's hand off and admit Negan owned him.
When the Governor was featured on the AMC series, Rick's hand was constantly under surveillance by fans.
There was never a moment where it truly appeared the Governor would remove Rick's hand from his body on the series but the indication that the show would follow the books by introducing David Morrissey as the popular comic book villain brought the possibility to light.