While we know someone was killed by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, we won't know the victim's identity until the Season 7 premiere debuts Sunday, October 23 at 9 P ET on AMC. There are two characters we know for sure won't be killed, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James), because they simply weren't part of the group lined up by Negan. Instead, they came across a Savior named Roman, who Morgan killed to save Carol's life, which was an interesting twist since both Morgan and Carol have made it clear they don't want to kill anyone ever again. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple shed some new light on what happens next with both of these characters.
Earlier this season, we learned that Morgan had taken a new Zen outlook on life, which included his refusal of killing anyone. Later this season, Carol had also vowed to never kill anyone again, after reflecting on the people that she has killed in the past. Entertainment Weekly caught up with showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who was asked about why Morgan decided to kill that Savior, shooting him six times, in order to save Carol's life. Here's what he had to say below.
"He wanted to save her life and he wasn't taking any chances. That character, Roman, was raising his gun. So Morgan was like, 'This is it. There's no way to stop him.' The big thing with that as far as Carol's side of it was that it wasn't only that she didn't want to kill, but she really wanted to get away from people and people that she's close to, which is something we saw all the way back in episode 502. That really is a driving motivation with her. And yet, in that moment - though she didn't really think of it this way - she did need someone. But she's in a tricky place. She doesn't want community and she doesn't want people close to her. She wants to be on her own and she certainly has the skills at this point to do so, but how do you achieve that when there's people around who care about you?"
Scott M. Gimple went on to say that Morgan has been "struggling with adapting to the no-killing philosophy, and that he made a choice to kill in order to save his friend. His decision on whether or not to continue with his no-killing ways will be a big part of The Walking Dead Season 7. Here's what the showrunner had to say about Morgan's philosophical struggles below.
"I mean he has been struggling with adopting a philosophy that saved him in so many ways, and yet that philosophy isn't workable in the world that he inhabits. Obviously, in that moment, it wasn't. Towards the midseason, we saw how much Morgan was struggling with it and how he wanted to walk that path, but he knew that it was challenged and it was possibly unworkable. And then, yes, in that moment, are you going to kill someone and save your friend's life in some ways that you feel responsible that they're out there in the first place, or do you let them die? Because somebody's going to die in that moment. He made a choice, but that will only further that conflict if it doesn't end his association with that philosophy altogether. Morgan was never certain, and now his going through the world without killing anyone, is that just wishful thinking at this point? That's a big part of his story this season. I will say obviously we're not going to be seeing him wringing his hands and bemoaning this the whole time. In fact, what we saw, it's more that he will see that he has no choice but to move away from the philosophy, but it's not going to be easy for him."
After Morgan saved Carol, they met two characters who, based on their costumes, are part of The Kingdom. It is widely assumed that both Carol and Morgan will be taken to The Kingdom, where they'll surely meet The Kingdom's leader Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva. While Scott M. Gimple wouldn't offer any specifics about The Kingdom, he did tease that this colony simply works.
"I'll say that the Kingdom is a place that works and it's a place that has a very different vibe because it works. They've figured out how to feed themselves. They've figured out how to have a place that in many ways celebrates life. They get to be alive. They want to live. It isn't merely about survival. There is a community there and the man in charge is somebody who embraces in some ways some of the more nonsensical parts of life. You know, he walks around with a classical royal air and yet there's something very affirming about that. It's theater. He's a bigger than life character and they're living in a way that is very affirmative of life and it's very different from any of the communities that we've seen before. There were people that were like, (regardimg Shiva) 'We're not going to do this. There's no way we can do this.' You know, we have Greg Nicotero and we have a remarkable effects team. I'll just say, as with everything on the show, it's something we thought about a long, long time. The show is a very difficult show to make. However much you plan or whatever, the ground sort of crumbles out beneath your feet as you just rush ahead with each and every episode. I'm very lucky that we'd been thinking and planning for a long time. We're pulling it off just in the nick of time."
With less than one month left until The Walking Dead Season 7 arrives on Sunday, October 23 at 9 PM ET on AMC. While we know that the season will pick up directly after Season 6 left off, revealing the identity of Negan's victim, we don't know when exactly when we'll meet Ezekiel and The Kingdom, but hopefully we'll learn more soon. There will surely be more footage released between now and then, which will offer new clues as the countdown towards the premiere continues.