The Walking Dead has historically used the end of a season to kill off significant characters. Who’s next?
In the mid-season 4 finale we saw The Governor and Hershel die. In the season 3 finale we saw Andrea die. In the penultimate episode of season 2, Shane died. It feels like we’re due for another big death (Lizzie and Mika don’t count).
In a Reddit AMA earlier this week, The Walking Dead comic creator and TV series executive producer Robert Kirkman suggested that season 4 is going to go out in a memorable fashion. Describing the season 4 finale as “SAVAGE,” he teased, “people are going to be talking about this one. The cliffhanger at the end of season 4 will make the wait between seasons 4 and 5 the hardest wait we’ve ever had. ENJOY!”
Assuming there’s a death in addition to a cliffhanger, let’s look at the odds for each character:
- Daryl: Not likely. He’s a fan favorite (if not THE fan favorite), and killing him would upset way too many people. However, Kirkman said in the aforementioned AMA that even he isn’t safe. “While I wouldn’t say the more popular a character is the more likely they are to die, they do have to reach a certain level of popularity before they’ve ‘earned’ the death,” he wrote. “No character is too popular to die. (Suck it, Reedus!)”
The fact that he specifically name checked Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, suggests he won’t be one of the people dying.
- Beth: Somewhat likely. The character went missing a couple episodes ago after someone grabbed her and drove away. It could be someone who lives/works at Terminus that is interested in using her for whatever messed up things are going on at the so-called safe house. We think that if she does die, it’ll have to happen in front of the camera so viewers can feel the emotion. She’s too big a character for her to die off camera.
By killing Beth, Daryl will feel like a part of him has died. It’ll be just as good as killing Daryl, but without the fans freaking out. They’ll just feel sad for their favorite character.
- Rick: Not likely. He’s too big a character, and the face of the show, to die right now. While we do think that his death is inevitable given all of the close encounters he’s had, it feels too early for him to be on death’s door. With that said, we’d like to see Rick die because it would completely uproot what we know about the show. We’d love to see Carl take over as leader.
- Carol: Not likely. This character has been all about protection this season. At the start she decided to kill some people to prevent the infection from spreading, and then a couple episodes ago she killed Lizzie because she was a threat to everyone she was near. Carol is a good lady who deserves to live. By the way, if Rick dies before Carol, we’d love to see her take his position.
- Maggie: Likely. When this character told her husband Glenn to burn the photo of her because he’d never need it again, some viewers saw a sign of foreshadowing her death. Killing Maggie so soon after her and Glenn’s reunion would break the hearts of many viewers and could be the type of thing that people would talk about for a long time between seasons 4 and 5.
- Glenn: Likely. We think Maggie and her husband have equal shots of dying given the fact that they just reunited. It would be sad and unexpected.
- Michonne and Carl: Not likely. In an international trailer for the season 4 finale we see Michonne embracing Rick’s son, which arguably suggests that they’re mourning the loss of someone else. That’s our best reasoning because we refuse to accept either of these two will be killed.
- Sasha and Bob: Not likely. These two characters haven’t been very present this season, so their deaths wouldn’t come as shocking or very upsetting. With that said, if either of them dies, we don’t think it’ll be the only death during the finale.
- Tyreese: Likely. After losing his girlfriend early in the season, maybe it’s time that Tyreese joins her on the other side. The talk between he and Carol in episode 14 showed a lot of forgiveness. It made viewers appreciate his decision to keep Carol alive. We’d feel bad if he now died, but at least he knows the truth about his woman.
- Tara: Likely. It would completely suck for Tara to die. She’s been attached to Glenn in a way that isn’t all too clear, and a scene showing him reacting to her death would be very heartbreaking. She hasn’t exactly proven her worth on a wide level, so if she died it would be sad but ultimately insignificant.
- Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita: Like Tara, these characters aren’t major since they were only introduced this season. However, this trio is on a mission to get Eugene to D.C. so he can use his supposed knowledge about how the outbreak occurred. If (IF) he’s being truthful, the death of Eugene would be a big set back. Abraham would be an equally significant death since he’s very passionate about getting Eugene to Washington.
After writing all this, we’d be disappointed if no one significant bit the bullet.
Watch this Sunday, March 30 at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific on AMC.