There are dozens of death predictions out there. Some are quite detailed. Some fans are claiming “proof”. This is neither a prediction or proclamation of proof, this is what I would do as a writer if the script for episode 1, season 7 were in my hands. Spoilers might exist if you haven’t read the comics.
So before I outline my scene, here are some factors I would consider.
Firstly, I wouldn’t have Negan kill a woman. It would make Negan a completely different character to the comics. It would significantly alter one of the most iconic villains of all time. As a writer, I wouldn’t take that chance. Kirkman got that villain perfect. When writing an adaptation I wouldn’t mess with that in my script.
Secondly, the only reason (again I’m talking as a writer) I would end on a cliff-hanger as seemingly poorly written as that is if there were a solid reason in the story-telling. Yes, $ are a reason, but as a writer, I think there could be better reasons.
Thirdly, even though the producers have stated they were always going to switch things up, the plan was to stick to the general story arc of the comics. Maggie really needs a significant death to drive her character arc forward and drive a wedge between her and Rick. As a writer trying to adapt the comics, I can’t see how that could be anything other than Glen’s death. Yes as a writer I could kill Glen later, but I believe he deserves an iconic death.
Lastly, doing it exactly the same as the comics is too predictable and has potential to disappoint. As a writer, I would switch things up a little bit.
So given the hype of the finale, my script would open up on a smashed head. No I wouldn’t show the beating on screen (yet). And the character I would kill would be Aaron or Eugene. Given the farewell scenes with Eugene were so in-your-face obvious, I’d probably opt for Aaron.
The viewer reaction would either be disappointment that such an iconic death was wasted and they didn’t get to see it, or relief that a major character wasn’t killed.
But straight afterwards when all the other characters think they’re safe, I’d have Maggie crumple over in pain, possibly showing some blood. Glen would rush over. He already tried it once. Negan said that one was free. There is no way Negan would let Glen get away with that again. Then Glen would get the real Lucilling. I would show it on screen and Glen would finally have used up his nine lives.
The death of a minor character first would justify the “cliff-hanger”. Showing the death of a minor character in the season finale would’ve been anticlimactic, killing off both with character reactions in the finale would’ve taken too long. Killing Glen will drive Maggie’s character arc, but it also varies it enough to surprise the comic book fans.
The rest of the episode would focus on getting Maggie to the Hilltop and learning the fate of whether we had indeed just lost a third person. I’d end my script on a sign of hope e.g. a signs of life during an ultrasound.
The rest of the episode would be dedicated to getting Carol and Morgan to the Kingdom, and yes I would write in a tiger and let the producers work out the logistics of that one.
Again, this isn’t a prediction, this is what I would do if I were writing the Walking Dead’s script. Hey, I can dream can’t I?