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The Walking Dead: What's Next After Negan's Gruesome Arrival?

Hint: More blood!

Alexander Zalben

Spoilers for The Walking Dead past this point.

Well, that's over with. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has officially arrived, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) are dead, and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is a broken shell of a man. But now that we're past the highly anticipated/highly dreaded Season 7 premiere...


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What comes next? They've been freed. Does Negan know how hard it is to lead? They're on their own. Awesome, wow! Do you have a clue what happens now?

Well, we do (or at least some educated guesses), so here's every burning question -- and some answers -- we've got for the rest of the season.

(Seriously: even more spoilers for The Walking Dead past this point. If you don't want to know what happens the rest of the season, A) why did you click into this article, and B) don't read any further. Thank you for your business.)

Is Rick really defeated?

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

For now, sure. The whole point of spending the entirety of "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" in Rick's perspective (except the ending, but more on that in a second) was to show Negan breaking Rick Grimes. We've spent six seasons with this guy so far and seen him push his way forward against the worst the zombie apocalypse has thrown at him, sometimes to a fault (Ricktatorship, anyone?).

But later? Without getting too much into spoiler territory, the guy whose first reaction after getting locked in a train car by evil cannibals was "They're screwing with the wrong people" is not going to stay down for long.

Is the rest of the Group defeated?

Hell to the no. It varies by member -- Michonne (Danai Gurira) seems pretty on board with the Negantocracy after seeing her surrogate son Carl (Chandler Riggs) threatened with dismemberment -- but it'll be up to the rest of the group to rally when Rick can't.

Specifically Maggie, right?

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Right. The one surviving member of the Greene family stepped up in a big way at the end of the episode, as Maggie (Lauren Cohan) pushed past the death of her true love Glenn, and The Baby Sickness, to literally stand on her own two feet.

Last season, Rick pointedly gave Maggie leadership training (and now I kind of want to see The Walking Dead's corporate training videos), first trusting her to take point with Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) in Alexandria, then with Gregory (Xander Berkeley) at the Hilltop community. He told her there would come a day when he wouldn't be able to lead, and she'd have to step up. Today is that day, and Maggie is going to have to build her own secret Negan Revenge Skwad.

So Maggie is gonna win over Rick?

If I was a betting man, I'd say Rick won't be immediately on board. This is a guy who was ready to chop off his own son's arm at Negan's beck and call. Maggie has already lost everything, which makes her far more dangerous.

Plus in the comics, Maggie -- post-Negan intro -- grows to become a leader very, very willing to make her own path without Rick. We'll most likely see that here, as well.

Who else will join the NRS (Negan Revenge Skwad)?

Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) seems like a safe bet, as Negan murdered Abraham before he and Sasha could even begin a proper relationship. Sasha certainly seemed to try to recruit Rosita (Christian Serratos), but given that Sasha "stole" Abraham from Rosita, it's unclear whether that particular offered hand will be taken.

Aaron (Ross Marquand) is Team #Gleggie for life, so while he might not be the strongest fighter, he's solidly on Maggie's side. And I wouldn't be surprised if Eugene (Josh McDermitt) gets recruited to create weapons for the revolution in secret.

Where's Carl in all this?

Great question. Where's Carl?

Hey, wait, what about Daryl?

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

The little Dixon brother (Norman Reedus) is about to get his little a-- kicked. And he sort of deserves it. Him punching Negan was satisfying on an epic level, but his disobedience is what led to Negan killing Glenn in addition to Abraham. Daryl is going to feel this guilt for a long, long time.

But beyond that, he's in the lion's den now. Negan is going to make Daryl his dog (which is awkward because Reedus is clearly a human cat), and Dwight (Austin Amelio) is going to use this to his advantage. We've seen Dwight wearing Daryl's jacket in promos, and the villainous D clearly has serious Imposter Syndrome when it comes to the heroic D.

Negan may try to break Daryl; Dwight might try to become him -- but when the time comes, Daryl is going to break one or both of the villains.

Catch up on the latest news about The Walking Dead

How is Alexandria going to react?

Oh, you mean the crack fighting team of Spencer (Austin Nichols), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon), who is still locked in a closet? They're gonna trip over themselves giving half their stuff to Negan.

What about Carol and Morgan?

Lennie James as Morgan Jones, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

Scenes from next week's episode, "The Well," show Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) in a new area called The Kingdom. This stronghold is run by a flamboyant man named Ezekiel (Khary Payton) who has a pet tiger named Shiva, and runs his township like a, well, kingdom.

Carol is recovering from her Savior-inflicted bullet wounds, while Morgan is grappling with breaking his vow of non-killing to murder the Savior who shot Carol. So they have some stuff to work out, and we'll probably find we're at the Kingdom for a good long while.

Cool, a tiger! Does the tiger eat Negan?

I wouldn't count on it. Ezekiel may be over-compensating just a wee bit.

What about Hilltop?

Gregory made a deal with the Group last season: get rid of Negan, and he'll trade with Alexandria. Given things went about as badly as they possibly could have, Gregory may not be inclined to help much going forward.

He's not the only ally the Grimes Gang has in Hilltop, though. There's ninja badass Jesus (Tom Payne), who seems inclined to help out Maggie in particular, and isn't a fan of Gregory. See above about Maggie stepping up into a leadership position, and I think you can figure out what will most likely happen next.

Back to Negan: is he done bashing people in the head? Please?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

For the moment, yes. He's in charge, the boss, the top dog. But even if Negan says he's everywhere, he can't truly be everywhere at once. The more areas he "owns," the further his resources are spread. Boy, could you imagine what would happen if everyone teamed up against him, in some sort of all-out war? Wouldn't that be interesting?

But seriously, are we done with the grossness? That Glenn/eyeball thing was too much.

This is the show that gives us at least one absolutely disgusting new walker every episode. The first episode ever had a decomposing woman lying literally in the ground next to a bicycle. The grossness will never stop.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.