Six seasons in, an unmistakable pattern has emerged: whenever there’s a surplus of characters on The Walking Dead who have enjoyed some semblance of stability for too long, something horrible happens and at least 20 percent of them die. It happened at the CDC, Hershel’s farm, the prison, Woodbury, and it’s clearly about to happen at Alexandria.
To help you prepare for Sunday’s
massacre midseason premiere (AMC, 9pm), here’s a list of everyone still standing at the end of the last episode, as well as each character’s likelihood of making it out of or back to Alexandria alive:
(While this post contains no explicit spoilers from upcoming episodes, it does contain speculation based on as-yet untelevised events that occur in the comics.)
1. Rick 100% —The Walking Dead might routinely warn its fans that no character is ever safe, but Rick is going to be just fine. If this show can’t commit to killing off Glenn, then Rick has nothing to worry about. Not yet, at least. Maybe in season ten or whenever Andrew Lincoln accepts $20 million to star in Love Actually 2: Billy Mack Strikes Back, but not until then.
2. Carl 70% —While Carl has learned how to capably defend himself against walkers, his skill at making friends hasn’t improved much since Shane died back in season two; as a result, Carl might soon regret his poor rapport with Ron. As fans of the comics know, Carl is due for a traumatic injury à la the Governor, and though he has survived one gunshot already, he might be left with more than a scar if the series follows the source material.
3. Jessie 10% —Poor Jessie. Hopefully Ryan Murphy has a role for Alexandra Breckenridge in the next season of American Horror Story, because it looks like her arc on The Walking Dead is about to be cut short. Her zombie poncho will not be enough to save her if she can’t make her son stop whining.
4. Ron 5% —Suffice to say, Ron never really warmed to the Grimes family; Carl stole Ron’s girl, Rick killed Ron’s dad (then stole Ron’s mom), and Baby Judith… No doubt Judith found some way of getting under Ron’s skin, too. Ron has thus been nursing a grudge all season, which almost certainly spells tragedy for Carl.
5. Not Ron 0% —This kid has a name, of course, but there’s no sense in learning it now. Henceforth, he shall be remembered as A) zombie chow and B) the child who (in all likelihood) gets his entire family killed because he literally can’t keep quiet to save his life. It’s too bad, because his scenes with Carol were truly the best part of season five.
6. Baby Judith 85% —She’s sweet, sure, and maybe she’s the embodiment of hope for the future, but realistically her chances for long-term survival should be more bleak. Her self-defense skills are limited to babbling incoherently and emitting high-pitched noises that are equally likely to draw danger nearer as to summon help. The fact that she’s lasted this long is a testament to Beth (RIP), Tyreese (RIP), Carol, Carl, and all the other assorted caretakers who have somehow kept her from becoming the most heart wrenching death yet—so will she live to see the next safe zone? Probably, but only because one of the cardinal (if unspoken) rules of screenwriting is “Never show a baby being eaten on TV. Not even on cable.”
7. Carol 100% (or else) —Carol is a badass. She’s a warrior queen with the body of your aunt. The mantra might be “if Daryl dies, we riot,” but if anything happens to Carol, then legions of her fans will… Write letters? Stop watching for three weeks before getting sucked back in? Face it: you have no leverage. Luckily, Carol can hold her own, and we already know that she’s willing to get her hands dirty. If she has to drag herself over the bodies of every other character on this list in order to reach safety, she’ll do it. She’s a survivor.
8. Michonne 100% —Michonne has all of Carol’s skills plus a katana. Enough said.
9. Father Gabriel 95% —Love him or hate him, Father Gabriel will soon be trading in his bloody zombie poncho for a clean collar, if only to further vex Rick with an ill-timed sermon. With Dale, Hershel, and now Deanna gone, Rick is going to need someone to remind him there is still some good in the world.
10. Morgan 20% —Yes, he made a mistake by letting the Wolf live. Yes, Denise could very well be Sunday’s first casualty as a result. Yes, if that happens, then Carol will glare at him really hard so that he knows how badly he screwed up, and when Carol has to choose between saving Morgan or someone else, she will definitely choose someone else.
11. Glenn 99% —If Glenn can crawl away from Dumpstergate unscathed, he’s almost guaranteed a long and happy life with Maggie. Almost. He just has to make it past Negan (and Lucille). If somehow you’ve successfully avoided all spoilers and you still have no idea who and what those names refer to, then you absolutely should not Google “Glenn, Negan & Lucille.” Just pretend it’s a folk trio from the ’60s.
12. Maggie 90% —Sure, she’s got a pre-industrial style childbirth to look forward to (which didn’t exactly work out well for Lori), and if anything happens to Glenn then she will have no other family left, but Deanna saw great potential in Maggie; Maggie could become a leader in the group. Given Rick’s tendency toward dictatorial rants, a fresh perspective from Maggie wouldn’t hurt.
13. Enid 30% —We haven’t learned much about Enid; maybe she’s with the Wolves, maybe her allegiance lies elsewhere… But the last time we saw her she was watching the chaos unfold with Glenn. Considering how often Glenn only barely escapes from certain death, Enid could become another not-so-innocent bystander.
14. Daryl 35% (Spoiler alert: the following contains discussion of a major character’s death in the comics.) —Sadly, though Daryl is bound to get out of his current predicament with Negan’s men, he’s the most likely fill-in for a certain death in the comics that was extensively teased during the first half of this season. That’s right: if Negan doesn’t kill Glenn (who is basically immune to death at this point), Daryl is the next most likely candidate. Perhaps the writers want to instigate a riot, or maybe it’s because Norman Reedus has his own new show. Either way, Daryl could very well lay down his crossbow before this season’s end.
15. Sasha 95% —Sasha handled Abraham’s mushy confession of his feelings toward her like a pro. He has some work to do before he earns her love, but these two are well on their way to deeper character development, if only because “Abrasha” has such a pleasant ring to it.
16. Abraham 100% —That ‘stache is invincible. For all we know, the secret to solving the entire zombie apocalypse is hidden somewhere in that fiery lip-ferret, so his survival is a given. Negan’s men will try, but they will fail to take down this red giant.
17. Rosita 65% —Here’s hoping Eugene doesn’t use Rosita as a human shield to escape the now-armed Wolf. Her killer attitude and spot-on side-eye would be sorely missed.
18. Eugene 75% —Eugene has yet to redeem himself for his near-constant lying and cowardice, but the attack on Alexandria provides his best chance to demonstrate his worth. He’s no fighter, but he could be the one to devise a strategy that saves the city.
19. Tara 65% —Tara found love in a hopeless place with Denise! Which would be excellent news if Denise weren’t being held hostage by Morgan’s escaped prisoner while chaos reigns in Alexandria.
20. Denise 55% —Poor Denise; the last time we saw her, she had a gun pressed to her head. Because she’s the only almost-doctor Alexandria has to offer, it would be rotten timing if she gets shot before Carl.
21. Aaron 85% —Couples don’t exactly thrive on The Walking Dead (see Rick and Lori, Lori and Shane, Shane and Andrea, Andrea and the Governor, Sasha and Bob, Jessie and Pete, Deanna and Reg, and potentially Tara and Denise) but Aaron and Eric have to make it out alive. They just have to. Sure, they don’t have the shippers that Caryl and Gleggie and, soon, Abrasha have, but if they don’t get to complete their license plate mural, then what’s the point of sticking with this show?
22. Eric 65% —Despite little screen time this season, Eric has proven himself among the most capable of the background Alexandrians who only occasionally have speaking parts. It would be a waste of his buildup in season five (remember the dinner with Daryl?) if he falls victim to a Wolf or walker before Aaron can rescue him.
Hopefully that’s everyone of importance (good grief, this show has so many characters). After Sunday’s premiere, don’t forget to check out the Sling Blog for a recap and status update on the survivors who will be back for another episode.