10 Compelling Reasons Negan Killed Abraham Instead Of Glenn Or Daryl On ‘The Walking Dead’

Over the weekend, a fan theory began circulating on YouTube that got followers of “The Walking Dead” TV series even more nervous for Glenn and Daryl after the events of the Season 6 finale. After carefully watching the videos (they are very well thought out and nicely put together), I still can’t shake two looming apprehensions: (A) the footsteps you hear don’t match the theory, and (B) Jeffrey Dean Morgan said he didn’t know the episode would end on a cliffhanger. That confirms (at least to me) that the footsteps are probably more accurate than the “eenie meenies.” While I could sit here and try to carefully listen to how many steps Negan took with each move, this is the show that wanted us to believe you could escape a horde of zombies unscathed by sliding under a dumpster. I’m sure the choppy editing of the final scene was intentional and doesn’t mean a damn thing. Instead, I choose to look to the comics and what I know of the many deviations the show has made from them, leaving me with just one sound solution: The person that Negan bludgeoned to death was…

That’s right, Negan killed Abraham…and maybe even one more long-standing character (but more on that later).

Let me preface everything I’m about to say with this: I’m a fan of both TWD television series and comic books. Furthermore, I don’t find one overall better than the other. In fact, I think the best way to enjoy each to its full potential is to be fully engrossed in the other. Not only does this method calm you down in times of frustration (read: infuriating cliffhangers), but you also start to get a feel for how they influence one another. As such, since the comics are further along than the TV show, you can figure out at times how the show will stray from the source. While not all of the reasons I think Abraham will bite the big one relate back to the books, many do, so consider this your ***SPOILER WARNING*** and get ready to be convinced that your favorite characters (unless they are named Abraham) are safe and sound.

1. The Biggest Guy In The Room

See, I’m not even starting with something from the comics. This is purely based on the evidence laid out right in front of us in the finale. When someone is sent to prison, the advice you always hear people give is to seek out the biggest, toughest dude in the joint and kick his ass to show that you are not to be messed with. Considering Rick looked like he was suffering from swine flu the entire time Negan was delivering his dramatic introduction, this leaves Big Abe. You saw the way he and Negan were sizing each other up. You saw that when the game began, Abe didn’t flinch. I’d be willing to bet Negan was doing the math in his head the entire time just so he could land right on that bushy fu manchu once he got to “it.”

2. He’s Already Dead In The Comics

OK, I know this means nothing, but it totally folds back into my first point. On the show, Abraham’s comic book death was transferred to lady doctor Denise. At first I thought that maybe this was because they wanted to keep Abe around, but quickly realized it was more about giving Daryl’s story line further motivation. Fair enough. He’s already taken so much from Abraham’s comic character in terms of story, what’s one more? But I’ve also read that the only reason Abe kicked the bucket in the first place was because creator Robert Kirkman realized that in order to establish The Saviors as a legit threat, someone had to go down. Since it was just Abraham and Eugene against them at the time, it had to be one of them. It couldn’t be Eugene for reasons I’ll point out later, so that was that.

Therefore, Abraham obviously wasn’t there when the situation with Negan came to a head (sorry, poor word choice). It was just Rick, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Carl, Michonne and Heath. Not really a dominant person to take down in that group besides Rick (which could never happen). Get what I’m saying?

3. Virtually No Glenn And Maggie This Season

The whole point of killing off a major character is to give it emotional weight. Yes, we got the big Glenn fake out this season, and Maggie’s side of it involving learning to live without someone when they are gone. But for the most part, they didn’t have many big moments together. The Abraham and Sasha romance was explored almost ad nauseam, so it’d be way more of a bitch to see that all come crashing down.

4. The Abraham/Sasha Romance Replaces Glenn/Maggie

First and foremost, Sasha is much more like Maggie’s comic book character than even Maggie is (i.e., suicidal and lost everyone). In the books, Glenn’s death creates a major rift in the group, and Maggie goes to live at the Hilltop because it was Glenn’s last wish that they move there to be safer from threats. So whether he dies or not (even on the show), the two (or one) are going there to handle their baby situation. If Abe croaks, there could be a few more people jumping ship, making for a much more interesting story overall. But back to the whole babies thing, let’s not forget the little “pancakes” talk Abraham and Sasha had in the RV. I can’t be the only person who was thinking, “This is a death sentence conversation!” the entire time. I know TWD likes to foreshadow events that may or may not come to pass, but they were really sealing poor Abe’s fate with that one.

One more brief point: in the comics, Maggie had just told Glenn she was pregnant a day or two before he was killed. Sasha and Abraham are talking about having a baby hours before the Negan showdown. Who’s to say the whole thing wasn’t music to Sasha’s ears because she was already pregnant? I’m just gonna throw that out there to further the relationship parallels between the two couples.

5. Someone In The RV

Again, we don’t consider TWD a sophisticated, highbrow zombie series anymore. It tries too hard with its artsy cinematography, and let’s face it, it will pull just about any hackneyed gimmick at this point to keep the ratings up. But would it really just leave a loaded Chekov’s gun sitting there and not use it? The Savior member who kept antagonizing Rick all episode made it a point to mention (multiple times even, if I recall) that it would be someone from the RV he was traveling in that was living their last day on Earth. Then Negan made his entrance from said RV when he was introduced. Just pull the effing trigger already!

6. Eugene’s Tender Goodbye

Abraham didn’t just get a new romance this season, but a bromance with Eugene budded, as well. You all saw that hug when Eugene was about to leave on his suicide mission. I was watching with my girlfriend, who blurted out an audible, “Awww…” (something I’d never heard her do while watching TWD). OK, show, you’ve got us invested. Now bury the knife in our hearts.

7. Eugene And Rosita, A Perfect Match?

Would you believe under any other circumstance that Rosita would wind up in a relationship with Eugene? In the comics, Abraham’s death was the catalyst that ultimately drove the two together, so why wouldn’t they repeat it here? It’s clear the Spencer hookup was just a revenge lay. Plus, I’ve mentioned before that Rosita has recently started to inherit story lines from the very much still alive Andrea in the books, who had a brief fling with Spencer after losing someone close to her, as well. That’s because at the end of the day, as I said in the beginning, the show doesn’t stray that far from the comics.

8. They’ve Never Killed Off A MAJOR Character

Hear me out here. I know Andrea is a huge player in the comics. I know Lori was, too, at first. But they weren’t exactly killed off on the series because fans loved them. In fact, most of us hated them and were glad when they were gone. In this TWD fan’s experience, the death that hurt the most was Merle’s. But that wasn’t because he was some major likeable dude. He was a total a-hole up until about his last episode alive. But then they gave him some redemption. They made you like him in the zero hour so his death would mean more. Sounding familiar? I’m not saying the show isn’t capable of going all out and whacking a huge fan favorite. I’m just saying they never really have before. Something to chew on (again, poor choice of words on my part).

9. Michael Cudlitz Is A Character Actor At Heart

Cudlitz’s acting resume boasts an impressive 101 credits, with “Southland” being his longest running stint on a show, with 43 episodes. No other cast member’s resume even comes close. He’s currently at 36 episodes with TWD. He’s not going to be hurting if he’s written out. There are plenty of police officer roles for him to fill out there, and with such a major series now on his list of accomplishments, we doubt he’ll have any trouble landing his next gig.

10. It’s Ultimately Less Of A Risk

Like it or not, the most highly rated cable television series is as much a TV show as it is a business, and that means keeping as many asses in the seats as possible for as long as possible. Why kill off even Abraham, a character who has the smallest fan base of the trio most expected to die, when they can make every fan stick around for the summer? And when the time comes and someone HAS to pay the piper in the premiere, Abe is the perfect scapegoat. That is, of course, if that’s enough to appease fans looking for a little satisfaction after such a buildup. But don’t worry, I thought of that, too.

Remember waaay back when this article began and I stated that another long-standing character could lose their life in the premiere? Well, don’t worry, I didn’t forget. After watching the Negan scene several more times, one particular line stood out above the rest (it wasn’t even from the comics, by the way). Once Glenn has his little freak-out moment, Negan tells the group that if any of them does it again, he will “shut that shit down, no exceptions.” Well, if your boyfriend or girlfriend were to be killed right in front of your eyes (and you also happened to have some suicidal tendencies), would you not forgo such a warning? I’m betting Sasha would. And this Negan character certainly seems like a man of his word. Looks like it’s picture day for the most unfortunate couple on television.

(photos via AMC, Entertainment Weekly)