The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere is already teasing one of the most infamous moments from the show's comic book source material and it hasn't even aired yet.
The first clip from the episode which was released at New York Comic Con just over a week ago sees Negan getting in the face of Rick Grimes in the aftermath of bashing someone's skull. However, while the casualty isn't revealed, there is a much larger tease in the 3-minute reveal.
Negan references his victim and asks Rick if they were his "right hand man." The villain goes on to stress how important it is to have a right hand before asking his right hand man, Simon, for Rick's hatchet. Negan smuggly stands, puts the hatchet in his belt loop, and yanks Rick into the RV behind them.
If Negan does in fact take Rick's hand, it would mean the live-action adaptation of Robert Kirkman's comics finally realized the events of issue #28 which saw the Governor slice Rick's arm at the wrist.
While executive producer and visual effects master Greg Nicotero is not willing to throw out specific spoilers, he is fully aware of what the scene is implying. Furthermore, he's teasing exactly what the moment is suggesting in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.
"I think it's safe to say that the axe could play a prominent part in the episode," Nicotero said.
Ahead of the Season 6 premiere, Rick actor Andrew Lincoln revealed he wants to see Rick's hand come off. "You know, I campaigned two seasons ago when the Governor was around... I was saying, 'You've gotta do the hand guys!'" Lincoln told ComicBook.com. "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."
As for whether or not whatever happens in the RV will out-do the shock of losing one of our core Alexandria characters, Nicotero says, "I don't know if shocking is the right word, but the episode is a roller coaster of emotions. I can tell you that."
Ross Marquand promises the episode is about the breaking down of Rick by Negan which will be explored in the episode beyond Negan killing one of his friends.
"I think it's the complete emasculation of Rick and you get to see a huge power shift in the group," Marquand said. "What you'll see is that the entire way their society has been structured, the power and the leadership roles, will now be completely thrown on their head."
Come to think of it, the premiere wouldn't be the first time that axe severed someone's hand. In the Season 6 midseason premiere, "No Way Out," Rick used the same axe to cut off Jessie's hand and free his son from her grip.
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.