We're halfway through the first part of Season 7 of The Walking Dead, and there have been no major deaths since Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) bought the farm in the premiere. For a show with as high a mortality rate as The Walking Dead, that's a pretty good run of staying alive. But it won't last forever. So who's going to be the next of the gang to die?
We know who it won't be -- Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus) or Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Rick is the heart, Daryl is the soul and Maggie is the head of the show. These three are safe for a combination of extra-textual and narrative reasons. Maggie only rose to untouchable status after Glenn died, but her husband's death gives Rick's pregnant lieutenant the clearest storyline: rally the troops at Hilltop and Alexandria to bring the fight to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). As for the other two, Rick is the star, and Ride with Norman Reedus has already been renewed for a second season.
Similarly, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) will probably make it through at least this season, since there's a lot more story left for both of them. Of the two, Michonne is more likely to not survive, since she's received the Rick Grimes Kiss of Death (all of Rick's previous love interests have died), and she's ultimately a less integral character than Carl.
Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) are the next tier. They're probably in the clear for now, but their safety is not as guaranteed. Their time in the Kingdom is just beginning so it's too early to abort, but their stories are intertwined at this point, so one of them will have to die when it's time to disentangle the characters. Either Carol or Morgan will probably make the ultimate sacrifice for the other in the second half of Season 7, but we're not talking about that right now. We're talking about the next four.
Among lesser supporting characters, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) are probably not going to die yet, because they both have work to do, Sasha carrying on the memory of Abraham and Eugene making bullets. Better bets are Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Tara (Alanna Masterson) or Heath (Corey Hawkins). None of these characters are as essential and could be taken out. Gabriel, with his fake grave fakeout, is joining the fight in a way he still may not be temperamentally equipped for and get himself killed as a result. Rosita's secret gun possession is defying the Saviors in a very dangerous way. The show doesn't seem to really know what to do with Tara or Aaron, and may kill them off rather than figure it out. And Corey Hawkins, who plays Heath, got a better job that may necessitate him being written off The Walking Dead.
But all these other characters are nowhere near as doomed as Spencer (Austin Nichols). If it wasn't obvious before, then "Service" moved closer to his certain death. He's always been a cowardly sort of guy, but he had powerful people protecting him and had value as a warm, able body. But by now his anti-Rick attitude and erratic behavior is seriously making him outlive his usefulness. On top of that, he's a widely disliked character, so his death would be a satisfying one after the sad ones earlier in the season. We know how The Walking Dead works, so if you're looking for a safe investment, bet on a certain henley-wearer to not make it past Episode 8.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.