Who did Negan kill in the Season 6 finale of “The Walking Dead”? Fans of the AMC series are still waiting on that answer, but recent casting news can at least reveal which characters are safe heading into the highly anticipated seventh season.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, four actors introduced in Season 6 have been promoted to series regulars for Season 7 — Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory). While all four of the actors are newcomers to the show, their promotions come as no surprise to fans of Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” graphic novels.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Do NOT keep reading unless you want to know details from the comic books.
Negan’s arrival in the Season 6 finale is something that viewers had been waiting on for some time. He made his grand entrance when his group of survivors, called the Saviors, kidnapped Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his people. Rick and the other Alexandria residents killed a large number of Negan’s men, and Negan wanted to even the playing field. He used his beloved barbed wire-covered bat, named Lucille, to take the life of one of Rick’s people. “Walking Dead” fans didn’t get to see which survivor had the misfortune of being chosen, but in the comic books it’s Glenn (Steven Yeun) who is beaten to death with Lucille. The villain will continue to be a major player in Season 7.
Dwight originally appeared to be a victim of Negan’s, but proved to be a threat after he killed Denise (Merritt Wever) and shot Daryl (Norman Reedus) in the shoulder. The character is a twisted one in the comics, working for both sides. It’s unclear if Dwight will follow the same path on the TV show, but he’s the one who claims Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) life in the graphic novels.
Gregory may have an interesting role in Season 7 if Maggie (Lauren Cohan) survives. In the graphic novels he butts heads with the strong survivor, who eventually takes over as the Hilltop Colony leader. This leaves a bad taste in Gregory’s mouth and he tries to assassinate her.
Jesus is a fan-favorite character in the graphic novels, but actor Tom Payne didn’t get too much screen time last season. If the comics are any indication he’ll play a big role in helping to fight off the Saviors. Although from the Hilltop Colony, Jesus also knows Ezekiel, who is the leader of the survivors at the Sanctuary. He’s able to introduce Rick and Gregory, forming a union to take down Negan.
“The Walking Dead” Season 7 will premiere on AMC this fall.