Opening its current seventh season by showing Negan kill Glenn and Abraham in a brutal double-whammy of major character deaths, The Walking Dead sent a perfectly clear signal to its viewers: this year, nobody is safe. For a while, as supporting characters came and went in a conveyer belt of zombie chow, it felt as though our core group of main characters was relatively invincible. But the death of Glenn, one of the show's few remaining original cast members, should put an end to that. Now, fans are likely wondering who will be next on the chopping block — including Glenn's grieving, pregnant widow. Will Maggie die on The Walking Dead?
Fortunately, since the AMC drama is based on a comic book series, we don't necessarily have to wait to find out the answer to that question. Granted, the Walking Dead TV show hasn't always followed the Walking Dead comics to the letter — sometimes inventing entire new characters or storylines and even shuffling some major deaths around within the cast — but the show has gradually started to become more and more faithful to its source material in its latter seasons, and it's reasonable to look to the comics for clues.
Immediately following Glenn's death, Maggie's storyline plays out almost exactly the same way on the page as it did onscreen: she returns to the Hilltop where she clashes with the community's leader, Gregory, and ends up punching him in the face. She eventually takes over from Gregory and is put in charge of the entire colony; she leads the Hilltop into battle alongside Alexandria and the Kingdom against Negan and his Saviors at the Sanctuary, and although the ensuing "All Out War" claims many lives, Maggie's is fortunately not one of them.
But just because our gang of heroes eventually defeats Negan doesn't mean their struggle ends there. After the story flashes forward two years, Maggie still finds herself beset by threats both internal and external as she continues to rule the Hilltop. Those internal threats come primarily from Gregory, who launches a campaign of quiet insurrection, as he drums up discontent over Maggie's handling of the new external threat, a gang of villains known as the Whisperers. Eventually, he actually tries to kill his replacement by poisoning her wine — but don't worry, she survives! Incompetent Gregory couldn't even do that right.
Maggie is forced to hang Gregory for his treason and attempted murder, a decision that Rick vehemently disagrees with once he finds out. In fact, the leaders of Hilltop and Alexandria come to blows over their conflicting leadership styles; after Rick hits Maggie in the face, she proceeds to beat him into the dirt. Fortunately, they reconcile in time to defend the colony from the invading Whisperers — which is where the most current issue of the Walking Dead comics left off: with Maggie and the rest of the Hilltop about to head into war against their newest foe.
Will Maggie survive this next bloody conflict? Apart from Rick, leaders don't have a tendency to stick around for very long on The Walking Dead, so readers (and viewers) do have reason to be concerned about the character's fate. But for now Maggie remains alive — and even if she does fall in battle against the Whisperers, AMC's adaptation likely won't arrive at that storyline for at least another season or two. So unless the show goes wildly off-script again, Maggie should be safe for the duration of Season 7.
Of course, "should" is the key word here. Maybe it's better for Maggie's fans to hope for the best… and prepare for the worst.
Images: Gene Page/AMC (3)