The Walking Dead : Major Character Loss Sets in Motion Future Story Arc

by - 25th October 2016

*This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1 'The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be*

The Walking Dead artwork
image courtesy of AMC

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, we all knew someone had to go, and Sergeant Abraham Ford (played by Michael Cudlitz) was the chosen person. His brains bashed in by Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan) with Lucille, while his friends could only watch on helplessly.

The Walking Dead artwork
image courtesy of AMC

Remaining a badass until the end, Abraham’s final words to Negan after the first blow to his skull “Suck my nuts!” were typically characteristic of the mustachioed hero we grew to love, who took one (“or five, or six” as negan points out) for the team.

Then just when we began to think that the other leading characters were out of the woods, Daryl retaliates, leading Negan to strike an unsuspecting Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun)  with a crushing blow to the head, in front of his heavily pregnant wife.

"Are you still there?” Negan taunts Glenn, "I just popped your skull so hard your eyeball just popped out!" Then just before our new antagonist finishes him off with a brutal beating, Glenn whispers his final words, “Maggie, I’ll find you”.

The Walking Dead artwork
image courtesy of AMC

As if losing two major characters wasn’t enough, the emotional turmoil wasn’t quite over. Unconvinced that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) understood that he was no longer in charge, Negan demands that his Saviours point a gun to the back of each of his remaining friends heads. Negan then draws a line on Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) arm, signalling to Rick that if he fails to cut off his son’s arm, all of his friends will die, then his son, and then everyone back at Alexandria. Finally he tells Rick, he will kill him, but only after he has spent a couple of years wallowing in what happened. With no other options left, Rick prepares to bring an axe down on Carl’s arm. At that moment Negan stops him, he has won the battle. He has broken Rick and turned him from a leader into his follower.

Whilst fans of the show are still reeling from the brutality and turmoil of the Season 7 premiere, they should understand the importance of the events of the episode, particularly how they reverberate throughout the upcoming season and set the subsequent plot for the entire future of the show.

Unlike Rick, Maggie (Lauren Cohen) responds to her husband’s death with a righteous fury. She had already begun to take on more of a leadership role at Alexandria, but now that she has lost Glenn, she will almost certainly seek vengeance for his death and fight to protect their unborn child. 

Having been a part of the show since Season 1, there will no doubt be an outpouring of grief for Glenn. However, the character most likely to miss Abraham is Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). The loveable Sergeant became a mentor for Eugene, sheltering him and helping him evolve from a lying coward into a valid contributor to the community. The pair had a plan to begin manufacturing ammunition and it’s almost certain that Eugene will continue with this in the spirit of his fallen comrade.

If there’s one thing that we can take away from this episode, it’s that the loss of these two major characters will set in motion a chain of events that will shape the survivors future forever.

Season 7 episode 2 'The Well' airs this Sunday
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