(VAGUE SPECULATIVE SPOILERS)
We can blame Game of Thrones for this. On that show, actor Kit Harington was contractually required to keep his long hair for the series, so after his character’s supposed death onscreen, the Jon Snow hair watch began as fans tried to tease out whether the character was dead or not.
Since then, a drastic haircut has become something of a knee-jerk association with a character death on the Internet. In fact, back in October, rumors surfaced that Steven Yeun had gotten a haircut, which some marshaled as evidence to support the fact that his character was actually dead. That turned out not to be true (for now, anyway), but it didn’t stop people from worrying. Likewise, there was speculation that Rick’s fate was also in question after Andrew Lincoln shaved his beard.
Now another The Walking Dead character has gotten a haircut, and this one is drastic.