The All Out War storyline has consumed The Walking Dead this season, and it's sure to continue past tonight's midseason finale. However, don't expect it to last much longer than that, as the war will probably wrap up before Season 8 comes to a close in 2018.
Is there any way for this war to end without Rick pulling the trigger on Negan?
Fans of the show will probably think that the villain's death is the only way for the war to come to a close. However, readers of The Walking Dead comic know that there is another solution.
In the comics, Rick had the opportunity to kill Negan at the end of All Out War. Instead, he threw the villain in prison, proving that he could rebuild the old world without evil and murder.
Some subtle hints over the last couple of seasons suggest that the show could head in the same direction.
Remember that jail cell that Morgan built in Alexandria? During his time of peace, Morgan crafted a jail cell in his basement, and told Rick that it would give him another choice "next time." Now, with the comics in mind, this seems a bit like it was intended for Negan.
If you've been watching Rick closely this season, it seems as though he's also starting to have a change of heart. Unlike last year, Rick is now thinking about keeping people alive, no matter where they come from. The grizzled leader even fought his best friend Daryl in a recent episode, trying to convince him that violence wasn't the only option.
Rick's going through some changes this season, so don't be surprised if he spares Negan's life when the All Out War comes to a close.