'The Walking Dead:' Who Won't Make It Out of the Cave?
A few fan-favourites are in jeopardy.
As always, the mid-season finale of zombie-drama The Walking Dead ended with a massive cliffhanger. Lured from their safe path by the villainous Alpha, last remaining series originals Daryl and Carol, and newer fan favourites Aaron, Kelly, Connie, Magna, and Jerry, found themselves trapped in a cave full of Walkers as the final credits rolled.
Based on what we know of The Walking Dead, it seems unlikely that all of these characters will survive.
Let's take a guess at who we're most likely to lose when the show returns in February.
Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, proved a surprise to The Walking Dead's creators in the early episodes. The character, not present in the comics, was originally created as one of a group of expendable extras to be killed off as the show progressed. Instead, Daryl quickly rose up to become a fan-favourite. This lead to a large #IfDarylDiesWeRiot movement among the show's fans.
He is likely still safe now. Aside from Daryl's popularity, he has essentially become the lead character since Andrew Lincoln left the role of Rick Grimes during season 9. With Danai Gurira's Michonne also departing later this season, the show can't afford to lose another lead.
While she was not written just to be expendable, Carol is a character who has far outlived her comic counter-part. While the comic's Carol died during the Prison arc, TV Carol lived on to become an unstoppable bad-ass. With Michonne taking many of Andrea's comic arcs, Carol inherited stories that had belonged to Michonne, such as her relationship with Ezekiel.
Carol is most likely safe for the same reason Daryl is — the show won't want to lose any big characters so close to Michonne's departure. However, with Carol making a lot of unwise decisions in her quest to avenge the death of her son, Henry, some fans are becoming frustrated with the character.
Aaron is one of the few remaining original residents of Alexandria. Recently, he has stepped up as one of the show's major players, taking part in storylines that once belonged to Rick Grimes himself.
Going by the comics, Aaron is one of the lucky few to survive right until the end of the series. While comic longevity is no longer an accurate measure of Show survival (sorry, Siddiq), it seems like Aaron still has a bit left to do.
Magna was first introduced after Season 9's second time jump, when Judith Grimes rescues her group. The group, also including Yumiko, Connie, Kelly, and Luke, ultimately settled at Hilltop, and Magna quickly became a vital member of Hilltop's fighting force.
This season, Magna has been having relationship troubles with her girlfriend, Yumiko, and as far as we know, these troubles weren't resolved before Magna left Hilltop to help track Alpha's horde. While killing Magna before she can fix things with Yumiko is just the sort of tragedy The Walking Dead is known for, she is probably safe. Some fans believe that Magna is a perfect substitute for a comic character in the upcoming Commonwealth arc who is no longer present in the TV series.
Connie's entrance to the show has made a big impact. Critics have praised The Walking Dead for their positive portrayal of a hearing impaired character, aided by the fact that actress Lauren Ridloff is a genuine member of the Deaf community. The character has also formed a close bond with Daryl in recent episodes.
Lauren Ridloff has signed on to appear in upcoming Marvel film The Eternals, leading some fans to fear for Connie's future. However, she would not be the first Walking Dead actor to make movies during the off-season, so this is not an automatic death sentence.
Another member of Magna's group, Kelly has happily settled into life at Hilltop. In her early appearances, Kelly is often seen translating Connie's sign language to their new friends. In Season 10, Kelly has found herself turning to Connie for help as her own hearing impairment worsens.
Though Kelly and her actress, Angel Theory, have quickly become favourites, some fans are concerned about what is to come for the character. With Daryl beginning to learn sign language, and the rest of Magna's group also knowing it, Connie doesn't strictly need Kelly as an interpreter. Kelly's potential death could also give Connie and Daryl another level on which to relate to each other, now both knowing the loss of a sibling.
After his first appearance as King Ezekiel's loyal bodyguard in Season 7, the gentle giant Jerry soon became a fan favourite. During the time-skip, Jerry found love with fellow Kingdom resident Nabila, and they now both reside at Hilltop with their three children.
Unfortunately, things aren't looking so good for Jerry when the show returns. One shot in the 10x9 trailer sees Jerry struggling to escape through a narrow, Walker-filled tunnel as Aaron, safe on the other side, desperately reaches for him.
Of course, this is all just guess work. The characters above might be completely fine, and the show will catch us off guard with a shock death elsewhere.
We'll know more when The Walking Dead returns in February 2020.