The Walking Dead's eighth season is going to arrive with a great deal of character deaths. As the communities head to an intense war, the body count will inevitably rise.
Of the major deaths which will be a part of the upcoming All Out War storyline, one character from the first season of The Walking Dead is likely to be among them. Morgan Jones' time is almost up. Looking back at Morgan's storied journey of survival, the war against Negan appears to be a perfect place for the character's road to end.
Morgan Jones became a part of The Walking Dead in the show's very first episode. He was the first character Rick Grimes met after waking from his coma and discovering the entire world had fallen to the zombie apocalypse.
At the time, Morgan was hiding out in his house with his last living family member; his son Duane. When Rick decided he would head into Atlanta, Morgan elected not to join him. Instead, Morgan would on a journey of his own along with his son.
On that journey, however, Morgan's son would perish before his eyes. His reanimated wife would play a part in the death of their son, sending Morgan over the edge of insanity, until he came across Eastman and took up the practice of aikido and belief that all life is precious. Eastman would die, like Morgan's son, and Morgan would be sent on a journey by himself after picking up the trail of Rick Grimes north of Georgia.
Heading into the eighth season, Morgan and Rick have settle their differences after reuniting down this long road. The two are ready to go to war together, but the safe bet is only one will survive, for a number of reasons...
In the Season 6 finale, Morgan broke his creed of not killing. It was in an effort to save Carol from a menacing member of the Saviors, something audiences see as justified, but a strike against Morgan's beliefs nonetheless.
It leads to Season 7, where Morgan would kill Richard, his own friend. Richard had unintentionally gotten Benjamin killed while trying to start a feud with the Saviors, prompting Morgan (who had developed a fatherly relationship with Benjamin) to snap and choke Richard to death, bashing his head against pavement, and driving a knife into his brain to prevent reanimation.
Without Morgan's creed keeping him in check, the character can snap at any moment and kill the people around him. He should not be considered a threat to Rick Grimes and company but Negan and the Saviors will be on high alert when it comes to the ninja-like warrior.
Morgan is not only willing to kill every last Savior but eager to do so. Being too aggressive in such scenarios can prove costly during times of war. Being so ready to kill will put Morgan on the frontlines, likely far ahead of Rick or anyone else he does not want to see get hurt, which spells trouble for the Season 1 character.
In addition to Morgan's eager desire to kill, the character has nothing left to live for. His family has died. When he thought he found a young man to help raise and shape in a respectable human, that young man died, too.
Morgan has spoken his peace to Rick. He has preached about the importance of life and how there are other options than killing. He has built a prison in Alexandria in hopes of Rick making use of it.
What better way to maintain Morgan's important legacy than to honor a character, fallen in battle fighting for the right thing against a villain who mercilessly controls his group, than by putting that villain in Morgan's jail cell? In The Walking Dead comics, that's just what Rick does.
It's something Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln has already teased. "I believe that there's a long way to go for Rick to be able to come to that conclusion," Lincoln said. "I think he's been so hurt and has had so many of his friends violated and murdered in front of him that I think it's very difficult certainly for Rick to be able to make that judgment just yet.
"But certainly restraint has to be shown in this new world. I think as a leader, Rick is having to recalibrate how he is able to communicate in this new place. The great thing about Rick that's always been part of who he is is that he is open to new ideas and better ideas, and he's also willing to change."
Beyond the war with Negan, what story is left to tell with Morgan?
Barring a sudden romantic relationship or new character to mentor, Morgan runs the risk of fading into the background of The Walking Dead's massive ensemble cast of characters. His story has been told and his legacy will remain with the influence on each character being carried out beyond his lifespan.
In The Walking Dead comics, Morgan died earlier than the All Out War story arc. The character became a chef in Alexandria and never became as prominent as he has on the AMC series. It is better for the character to go out a hero while his story is one of the more beloved arcs for fans than to become an ancillary role among newcomers on the series.
To top it all off, the stakes of the war have to be established as being incredibly high.
Negan killed Abraham and Glenn to start Season 7. He would go on to see Olivia and Spencer off the show, as well. While several characters run the risk of dying in Season 8, few would have an impact like the remaining Season 1 character's of Rick, Daryl, Carol, and Carl. All four of those names feel much safer heading to battle, along with other major players such as Michonne, who will likely be sitting out a good portion of the war to recover from the injuries to acquired in the Season 7 finale.
Morgan's death will send a clear message: The Walking Dead Season 8 and the All Out War story are not here to play.
Fear the Walking Dead returns September 10. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October with a trailer coming in July at San Diego Comic Con. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.