The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: 10 Questions That Need To Be Answered In Season 7 Source: AMC

We’re now less than a month away from the premiere of The Walking Dead’s seventh season and miraculously, we still don’t know all that much about it. Yes, we know that Negan is going to kill someone (or at least, we’ll find out who he killed at the end of last season and finally settle a frustrating six month long cliffhanger) and we’ve heard from pretty much every member of the show’s cast that it’s all going to be super depressing and heart-wrenching, but when it comes to tangible plot details, there still isn’t much to go on.

As such, I’ve rounded up the biggest lingering questions that need to be answered at some point in season seven and briefly discuss what the answers to those questions might be. Of course, we’re bound to be faced with many more pertinent and pressing questions once the season begins and all of this speculation is rendered useless, but for now, here’s what we need to find out in The Walking Dead season seven.

*Note: while it’s pretty much impossible to spoil a season I haven’t even seen yet, I do discuss events from The Walking Dead comics which could offer clues as to what to expect. So, if you want to avoid potential spoilers altogether, here’s your warning.

10. How Did Negan Get So Powerful?

As The Walking Dead’s enigmatic new villain, Negan and his Saviors will take a central role in Season 7’s plot, as they make life miserable for every other character on the show. I have many questions about Negan, but the one I’m hoping gets answered before the season ends is how Negan became the brutal leader of a powerful post-apocalyptic gang. According to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan’s backstory will be revealed at some point in the season, but it would be refreshing if the show double downed on this and gave us multiple episodes that fill in the gaps of where Negan comes from and what he’s been up to during all the time we’ve been with Rick’s group. While part of Negan’s appeal right now is tied into him being a force of nature that came out of nowhere and turned everyone’s world upside down, it would be interesting to get a better picture of the man swinging the bat and what makes him tick.


9. Will Any Of Rick’s People Join The Saviors?

It’s fair to say that Rick’s days of being a confident leader are being put on hold once the emotional fallout of his first encounter with Negan sets in and as such, his friends and family will be without his guidance for the foreseeable future. While the most loyal members of his group will surely stick by him while he struggles to find his resolve again, there could be some Alexandrians that take a look at Negan and the Saviors and think “You know what? I’m going to throw in with those guys.” As we’ve seen many times on The Walking Dead, loyalty only goes so far when there’s a gun being pointed at your head and Season 7 could reveal some things about certain characters’ states of mind that we may have wished had stayed hidden. Source:

8. Will Ezekiel Join Forces With Rick?

One of the most exciting characters being introduced in season seven is Ezekiel, the ruler of a group of survivors known as the Kingdom who also happens to have a pet tiger named Shiva. Now, in The Walking Dead comics, Ezekiel plays a major role in bringing Negan and the Saviors down, and we don’t really see any reason why things won’t eventually go down this way on the show as well. However, the TV series is known for deviating significantly from the comics (which is why we have no idea if Glenn is going to be killed in the season premiere or not) so there’s a chance that Ezekiel may not play ball with the Alexandrians, at least at first. Morgan and Carol will be the first members of Rick’s group to encounter Ezekiel and it could take them a fair amount of time to earn his trust. After all, can you really trust any strangers with the likes of Negan around?

Source: AMC

7. Will Ezekiel Put The Moves On Michonne?

As already mentioned, Ezekiel is set to become a very important character in the new season of The Walking Dead, to the point where he could get pretty intimate with certain members of Rick’s group. You see, in the comics, Ezekiel has a thing for Michonne and becomes romantically involved with her at one point. Unfortunately for Zeke, Michonne is currently in a relationship with Rick, which obviously complicates matters. The comics didn’t feature this love triangle because Rick is actually romantically linked with Andrea, who is still alive in that universe, so it will be interesting to see whether the show will have Rick and Ezekiel vying for Michonne’s affections or if they’ll just have him put the moves on another member of Rick’s group.

Source: AMC

6. Will Dwight Switch Sides?

While pretty much everyone’s focus is on Negan right now, it’s important to remember that he’s not the only Savior worth giving a damn about. In fact, we’ve seen more of Dwight than we have Negan so far and he’s set to be a significant character in the upcoming season, as evidenced by actor Austin Amelio being promoted to series regular. What’s interesting about Dwight is that there’s actually the potential for him to be more than just Negan’s loyal lieutenant.

It may seem hard to believe now, what with stealing Daryl’s motorcycle and later shooting Daryl in the shoulder, but Dwight actually turns against Negan in the comics, taking on something of a double agent role and helping Rick’s group in secret. While the TV series could very well take a different route and keep Dwight firmly planed in Negan’s camp, the presence of his facial scars is no accident, as Negan is the one who disfigures him. It’s hard to see Dwight not wanting to get some form of revenge for this at some point, so it will be exciting to watch what he does and whether or not his loyalty to Negan starts to wane as the season progresses.

Source: AMC

5. What The Heck Is Going On With Carol?

One of the more frustrating character arcs from last season that I hope the show can get back on track this year is Carol and her bizarre pacifist/meek housewife routine. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with having a character do a full psychological 180, The Walking Dead never really developed Carol’s change in emotional state or offered up many compelling reasons for the sudden change. Will we find out what’s going on with Carol in season seven? It would honestly be surprising if we didn’t, but I just hope the show doesn’t stretch things out and pad out episode lengths with a weekly “look what crazy thing Carol did now” routine. Let’s get to the heart of what’s bothering her and work on fixing it because we need the old Carol back and fast.

Source: AMC

4. Has Morgan Reconsidered His Pacifism Stance?

Just as Carol’s started to slide one way, it appears as if Morgan may be heading in the other direction. In the season six finale, Morgan was forced to pull the trigger to save Carol from an attacking Savior, an action that ran counter to the pacifism stance he had adhered to ever since he joined up with Rick’s group in Alexandria. While Morgan’s act of violence was necessary in order to save Carol’s life and isn’t indicative of some sort of psychological break, could it be evidence that Morgan has reconsidered his uncompromising pacifism and is prepared to kill when required?

Honestly, I hope we see a more pragmatic Morgan in season seven who will get his hands dirty when required, but acts as something of a moral compass for the group the rest of the time. His tenure as an absolute pacifist last season was more frustrating than anything, as it led to unrealistic decisions on his part that anyone who has survived that long in a zombie apocalypse simply wouldn’t make. That being said, Morgan remains one of the show’s more fascinating characters and it will be interesting to see how the fallout of his recent kill is handled in the early parts of the season. Source: AMC

3. What’s Going On With Tara And Heath?

While season seven will primarily be focused on the conflict with Negan, it’s important to remember that there are other characters that, at least at first, won’t have much to do with that particular storyline. While some may have suspected that we may have seen the last of both Tara and Heath after they went on a supply run last season and were never heard from again, both characters have been confirmed to be coming back this season.

While it’s not surprising to hear that Tara is coming back, the fact that Heath will be returning as well is interesting, as it was believed that the show would probably just be killing him off after actor Corey Hawkins landed the lead in the upcoming 24 reboot in the off season. According to showrunner Scott Gimple, “We will absolutely see Heath again,” but it appears that it will be a bit of a struggle to navigate around Hawkins’ schedule. So far, Heath is confirmed for at least one episode and while he very well may be killed off by the end of it, there’s a good chance he’ll be kept around since Heath is a pretty important character in the comics. As for Tara … well, let’s just say it’s going to be a little heartbreaking when she finds out Denise got an arrow through the eye.

Source: AMC

2. When Will The Tide Turn?

It’s safe to say that Rick and the rest of the Alexandrians aren’t going to obey Negan forever; eventually they’re going to rise up and wage war on him to avenge the death of whomever the Savior leader kills at the beginning of the season (and probably several additional deaths by that point). But when will this happen? Taking Negan out in less than half a season wouldn’t make for a very compelling narrative arc and considering the pedigree of both the character and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan is a villain who’s probably sticking around at least for all of season seven and probably most of next season as well.

My guess is that the latter half of season seven will focus on Rick getting his confidence back and starting to formulate a plan for how to eliminate Negan and the Saviors, but it’s also possible that we’re in for an entire season of subjugation at Negan’s feet. Either way, even a show as bleak as The Walking Dead can’t stay mired in misery for too long lest it start to turn viewers away, so look for the latter half of the season to have a slightly more hopeful air about it than the first.

Source: AMC

1. Who Does Negan Kill?

Even though we know this is the first question The Walking Dead will answer when it returns on October 23rd (at least, I hope. If there’s another cliffhanger, I swear …), the identity of Negan’s victim is the number one thing every fan of the show has been wondering about ever since that controversial fade to black in the season six finale. Incredibly, we still don’t know for sure who it’s going to be, as the show has done a great job in keeping plot details under wraps. That being said, fan-digging and the rumor mill have reduced the list of viable candidates down quite a bit.

As of this writing, we can pretty much rule out Rick, Carl, Daryl, Eugene, and Abraham from the list. Sasha, Aaron, and Rosita are all still possibilities, but considering they’re all still relatively minor characters whose deaths wouldn’t really trigger much of an emotional impact, it’s safe to assume they’ll be alright. That leaves just Maggie, Michonne, and Glenn and so far, the money seems to be on Maggie, since killing a pregnant woman, not to mention one that is also a beloved character, would certainly qualify as a shocking moment. Then again, we won’t know for sure who gets their skull bashed in by Lucille until it actually happens, so it could very well be any character, even if they’ve been ruled out as safe.

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)