The Walking Dead: Which Major Character Will Die Next?

Prepare yourself, folks — the season finale of The Walking Dead is just around the corner, and rumor has it the episode will be brutal. Before you proceed, and in case you didn't figure it out yet, this article contains major spoilers (up to season 6, episode 13 and the comic books, that is). If you're caught up on the series, proceed forth and read, knowing the growing knot in your stomach is wholly justified.

In case you missed it, show actor Steven Yeun who plays Glenn recently talked about the show's upcoming introduction of Negan, the comic's terrible villain who — in the comic book world — kills off Yeun's character. It has been stated before that such a death won't occur in the movie; Glenn will be fine, but some other major character is going to die in his place.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Yeun teased that things are done differently in the show, as we all know, but he wouldn't confirm whether his character will live to see season 7. We got a hint about what to expect from Andrew Lincoln last month, though, in his own interview with EW. Speaking about the season finale, he said:

I felt sick to my stomach when I read the script. It was the first day in the whole six years of working on The Walking Dead that I was late for work because I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't get back to sleep. I was so angry and frustrated and I felt sick. And that was just after reading it.

Yikes, right? Someone major is going to die, and they're going to die in a terrible way, it seems. Who will it be? See our top three guesses below:

Carol

What would The Walking Dead be without Carol? She's a great character, one with a big and greatly explored character arc. She embodies certain things about the new world, how someone may adapt to handle such a terrible reality, and she poses some difficult questions.

More recently, the show's writers have been carrying along Carol's storyline in a way that — if they so choose — could be neatly wrapped up forever very soon. Carol's rabid insistence about killing off anyone threatening came under fire recently, and was taken head-on with the contrasting character Morgan, who has adopted quite an opposite philosophy. The writers demonstrated flaws (and benefits) with both extremes, but recently took it further in episode 13, zeroing in on Carol and the state of her psyche.

Carol's still willing to kill — when it came to protecting Maggie's unborn baby, she put a bullet in someone's head without hesitation — but she doesn't want to do it anymore. The wind has been taken out of her sails. In a first, she went full-Morgan and gave someone the chance to run away and live. It was one of the best episodes in a very long time, and a very nerve-wracking one.

If ever there's been a good time for Carol to die, now's it.

Daryl

Daryl, the show's longstanding rugged survivalist and unintentional heartthrob, has been given the distinction of being Rick's righthand man in the TV show, and that has made him largely indispensable. The crossbow-wielding character is loyal to a fault, and has come very close to death on more than one occasion, always managing to survive.

Were the writers to kill off Daryl, viewers would anguish. They'd revolt. It'd hit the heart hard, but it wouldn't disrupt the show's storyline too much. Daryl hasn't had much going on lately, hanging around in the background more often than not, being used here and there to save the day when necessary. This puts the character in a uniquely vulnerable position, one where the writers could unleash the full impact of a major character death without having to make drastic changes to the plot's direction.

As uncomfortable as the thought is, there are still some issues with this theory — it would be odd to kill Daryl off after giving him so little to do in recent episodes. If the writers intend to kill off a major character, it seems they'd make sure that character is fully in the forefront for maximum viewer anguish.

In addition, Abraham — a character who has become increasingly unstable and who recently acted like a major jerk — has indicated he's on the way out, but not in a series-finale-death kind of way. In the comics, Abraham is Rick's main man, and so killing Daryl off when Abraham's own involvement in the group is so precarious would risk leaving a big hole that upset the show's balance.

If Daryl is killed off, it could prove to be a huge misstep.

Maggie

While the other two are very likely candidates — and ones that put a chill down fans' collective spines — our bet is on Maggie meeting fate at Negan's hand. We'll get to why in a moment, but first read this quote from Lauren Cohan, who plays the character:

[Hearing] the word 'finale' gives me a physical reaction because it's the hardest day on set that I've ever had in my life. I never even imagined that as an actor you could have that experience. It's one of the most raw experiences that I think any of us have ever had. Andy talks about being late to work; I didn't want to go to work that day. It took a really, really long time for everybody to feel okay again after the finale, let's put it that way.

Things are already looking bad.

The show's writers have been teasing fans with Glenn's seemingly inevitable deaths for many, many episodes, and more recently they've taken that up a notch, first leaving fans to wonder if Glenn died an undignified death in front of a dumpster, and later on putting Maggie mere feet away from being eaten herself. It has been a rollercoaster of emotion, of near-deaths and hesitant mourning. Neither of them have died, but the show's writers have been more than happy to leave us squirming, teasing that either could go at any moment.

Maggie, of course, is two months pregnant, a situation that drastically changes her roll within the group, offers a beacon of hope in a hopeless world, and that would make her death all the more terrible. The pregnancy also raises some big concerns — the writers already have one baby to deal with, and it's doubtful they'd want yet another infant introduced into the storyline. It would be very surprising if Maggie's baby lives.

As well, the baby wasn't an accident, and the show has been heavily pushing the 'hope' aspect of pregnancy and life and the future. Maggie herself has been preaching positivity and tossing around that hope word, but as we've all learned at this point, there's no such thing as hope. Not in the Walking Dead's world.

Viewers are right to be suspicious about the sudden inclusion of a pregnancy and positivity — it feels as if the show's writers are trying to build viewers up to maximize their plummet back down to reality. As well, the writers have been careful to keep Maggie in the limelight for most of this season — we've mourned Glenn with her, watched her elation upon learning that he still lived...she was even included in the most recent episode (13), though her presence wasn't in any way necessary. Instead, she once again dodged death and — once again — viewers have breathed easy.

Glenn and Maggie were almost torn apart. Again. Do you see the trend?

Maggie is hopeful and pregnant. She believes the future will work out well. She's looking forward to being a mom. Both she and her husband have survived against huge odds. They've been reunited many, many times. They're a beautiful couple who have defied a world where death literally walks around unrestrained.

They've had it too good. No one in The Walking Dead gets a happy ending. Preemptive RIP Maggie.