Ever since Zombie Sophia came stumbling out of Hershel's barn back in season 2, The Walking Dead has had a proud tradition of blowing minds and breaking hearts before it takes its winter vacation. Hence, the question on every fan's mind in advance of the Sunday, December 11, midseason finale:
Which one of our beloved characters is going to die before the break?
Don't get Us wrong — this is not to say that anyone is actually, definitely, for sure going to get a face full of barbed wire–wrapped baseball bat (or a love bite from a ravenous walker). But after two earth-shattering deaths in the season 7 premiere, things have been awfully quiet 'round post-zombie-apocalypse America of late — which all too often means that the show is gearing up to do something atrociously upsetting. So in an effort to gird our collective loins for the possibility of yet another death, we're rounding up the characters most likely to be making an untimely exit come December 11.
Carl (Chandler Riggs)
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've probably heard that actor Chandler Riggs is heading to college imminently — which gives The Walking Dead a compelling reason to write its one-eyed teenage cowboy off the show for good. Add in the fact that Carl's death would be a hell of a catalyst for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) to fight back against the villainous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and the deck is decidedly stacked against him. The caveat? Carl's demise is the kind of giant, game-changing plot development that you save for a real finale, not a mid-season one, which means that the teen is probably safe … for now.
Olivia (Ann Mahoney)
Alexandria's bespectacled pantry custodian has been unusually visible this season, which would be great news on any other series — but on this one, it means they might be fleshing out her character just so that it'll be that much more painful when they kill her off. Plus, she did slap Negan in the face last episode. Is he going to let that kind of aggression stand?
Daryl (Norman Reedus)
Daryl is on this list for the same reason that he's on every list of potentially doomed The Walking Dead characters: He might be a fan favorite, but he isn't canon. There is no Daryl in the graphic novels upon which this series is based, which means that the showrunners can kill him off anytime they want. Here's hoping they don't want.
Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson)
If you saw the name "Eric" and said, "Wait, who?!" you're not alone; he's not the most memorable — or prominent — character. However, as a longtime Alexandria resident and the beloved husband of Aaron (Ross Marquand), his death would be a terrible blow to the community, and the kind of loss that could definitely galvanize some vengeful action in the second half of season 7.
Spencer (Austin Nichols)
Here he is, folks: The man you're least likely to be seeing ever again after Sunday's episode. Spencer, the last surviving member of the Monroe family, has been flagrantly failing to respect Rick's authority since the season started — which makes him "a tremendous s–t," as Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) so eloquently pointed out last week, but which also makes him very expendable by the show's well-established standards. Add in the fact that the show's source material has Spencer's story line coming to a violent end right about now (along with a promise from Chandler Riggs that the next episode will hew closely to the comics), and things aren't looking good for ol' Spence.
Tell Us: Who do you think is most likely to die in the midseason finale?
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!