Some Comic Spoilers Below
In the back half of the seventh season of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes and Co. will begin building up their alliances so that in the eighth season, Rick’s army will be in a position to take on Negan’s army of Saviors in the eighth season. We know that Negan will survive this season, at least, and spoiler, Rick Grimes — who is under contract for at least another two seasons — will ultimately survive the war with Negan, as well. In fact, in the comics at least, Negan also survives the war. Remember that jail cell that Morgan built in the sixth season? That’s probably where Negan is going to end up for a while.
However, in the comics, Robert Kirkman appears to be heading toward another huge, iconic moment, not unlike Glenn’s death in Issue #100. February is going to be a huge month for The Walking Dead. Not only is Robert Kirkman selling Issue #163 for only a quarter, but it’s arrived with a variant cover, and there will be a second issue of The Walking Dead in February (typically, Robert Kirkman releases only one issue a month).
With the television series due back in February, Kirkman may be doing this to re-energize fans of The Walking Dead — some of whom have abandoned the show — but he’s probably also trying to create one of those signature The Walking Dead moments that we can all look forward to in two or three seasons on the show.
Such moments typically involve a major death and/or the introduction of a new threat. I will say this (again, spoilers): In the most recent issue, Negan is still alive, and he had to bury his bat Lucille after he broke it over the back of an enemy. (Negan is in an uneasy alliance with Alexandria.) Negan also showed a real sense of humanity in the episode. With Rick wearing Negan’s jacket and holding Lucille on the variant cover, it might be a good time in the comics to kill off Negan, because it feels like he may have fulfilled his character arc. He’s been redeemed.