Walking Dead Negan bat Lucille Rick

The trailer for The Walking Dead season 7 juxtaposes heartwarming flashbacks of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) reciting “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to arbitrarily select one them as his victim. Speculation that the person’s identity was undetermined at the airing of the cliffhanger was dismissed by TWD creator Robert Kirkman. However, the closely held secret was kept on a need-to-know basis.

“From the beginning of season six, it was all decided and set in stone,” he explained. “The actor was informed but not everyone else was told.”

Kirkman accidentally eliminated one potential candidate while justifying the controversial cliffhanger.

“When we see who was killed and what the outcome of that is, and where that leads Rick and the rest of the survivors — I guess I just gave up that it’s not Rick, so it’s not Rick [spoiler! — ed.] — that’s the beginning of a new story.”

Although not in immediate danger, Spencer (Austin Nichols) is eager to make a deal with Negan and appears to heading for a similar fate as his comic counterpart. Negan fittingly gutted the gutless coward for begging him to kill Rick and make him the leader of Alexandria.

Walking Dead Ezekiel Khary Payton Shiva tiger

There’s an actual tiger that Negan who be wise to let go. Shiva is the mostly tamed pet of King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), the eccentric leader of a settlement known as the Kingdom. Jesus (Tom Payne) introduces Rick to Ezekiel, who proves to be a vital ally against Negan. However, they may end up fighting over Michonne (Danai Gurira). She ends up Ezekiel not Rick in the comic book.

Walking Dead season 7 premieres Sunday, October 23 on AMC.