'The Walking Dead’ clip at New York Comic Con whittles down Negan’s potential victims

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AMC has been understandably quiet about The Walking Dead's seventh season, given that the show gave its fanbase the proverbial middle finger with a frustrating season six cliffhanger at the cusp of one of its biggest on-screen moments.

(Editor's note: Spoilers ahead for the sixth season of The Walking Dead.)

So the question remains: Who did Negan club to death in the finale? While AMC hasn't gone and outright said anything — heck, they reportedly filmed each actor's death scene at the hands of Negan, just in case — new footage of the season seven premiere from New York Comic Con has offered more than a few hints. 

In fact, we can effectively narrow down the list to three characters. Here's how. 

Source: YouTube

Blood is spattered on Rick's right cheek. The clip begins, we assume, shortly after Negan brutally killed at least one member of Rick's gang. Afterward, he gets up close and personal with Rick, who promises Negan that one day, he's going to kill him for what he did. 

Rick's inspiring bravado aside, there is blood on the right side of Rick's face, which offers an important clue: Whoever Negan killed was probably sitting to the right of Rick. Here's what that order looked like in the season six finale. 

The season six finale. Source: AMC
The season six finale.  AMC

That would ostensibly leave six potential victims, from right to left: Maggie, Abraham, Michonne, Daryl, Rosita and Glenn. However, Negan also makes a point to Rick about the importance of a right-hand man. 

"Simon's my right-hand man," Negan tells Rick. "I mean — what do you have without one? A whole lot of work. Do you have one? Maybe one of these fine ones still breathing. Oh, or did I?"  

That's a really obvious suggestion; that Negan killed a right-hand man of Rick's. To the right of him, that would narrow the list down to Abraham, Daryl and Glenn. Between the three characters, any of them could be considered Rick's right-hand man. Glenn was the one who saved him in the series pilot; Rick and Daryl have had a similar, brotherly bond; and Abraham is a charismatic, capable member of the group. 

Complicating matters, Negan has only known Rick and co. for the duration of that scene. He wouldn't actually know which one it is. He's just making an assumption. 

If we were to guess which one based off the clip, however, it'd be Abraham: He's the closest male character next to Rick's right side. Maggie is in between them, but considering the character is pregnant, it would be pretty disturbing — even for a show set in the zombie apocalypse — to kill her in such a gruesome, bloody fashion. 

However, while common sense dictates that the list is whittled down to three, it's still not particularly revealing. Ahead of the season premiere, Glenn, Daryl and Abraham are the three most expected potential victims from The Walking Dead's fanbase. AMC could essentially be confirming what many thought were the real characters on Negan's shortlist, without offering up further clues. In other words, AMC is giving fans what they want — more footage ahead of the premiere — without really telling us anything. 

The bloody remains of Negan's victimSource: Giphy
The bloody remains of Negan's victim  Giphy

Wait, is Negan going to chop off Rick's hand? Negan's "right-hand man" comments might not just be on the nose for who he decides to kill — the show is teasing that it's going to make a bold decision from its comic book source material. After Negan takes one of Rick's weapons, an ax, he drags him into the RV with it. 

"I'll be right back — maybe Rick will be with me," he says. 

Negan dragging Rick in a literal senseSource: Giphy
Negan dragging Rick in a literal sense  Giphy

This strongly hints at an important moment from the comics: Rick losing his hand. It happens during the group's entanglement with the Governor, whose arc already happened in the series. But it's a move Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman has suggested would be difficult for the show for an uninspiring reason: It would be expensive. 

"It's just that in another medium it would be harder to pull off, we cheat in the comic because things aren't moving," Kirkman wrote in a Reddit AMA back in 2014. "You can't do that on the show. You'd see Rick not being able to reload his gun, and things like that. The CGI of cutting off Rick's hand would be expensive, but we did it with Hershel's leg so if we felt strongly about Rick losing a hand, we'd do it." 

This clip, however, is the closest The Walking Dead has gone to suggesting the show will go through with it. But considering this series frustratingly teased fans for months with the Negan cliffhanger, it could always be another elaborate ploy. The only way to know for sure is during its premiere Oct. 23. 

Source: YouTube