13 Maggie Theories For ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9 Run The Gamut From A Peaceful Motherhood To Starting A Civil War

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Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 8 finale follow. With Carl's words ringing in his ears, Rick lets Negan live on The Walking Dead. While Michonne wholeheartedly supports Rick's decision, Maggie has quite a different opinion. There are already plenty of theories about Maggie in The Walking Dead Season 9 based on her conference with Daryl and Jesus at the end of the April 15 finale. Although she has been allies with Rick since Season 2, Maggie expresses her anger at Rick and Michonne's choice to let Negan live. It seems the series is setting up a major change for her character and fans immediately took to Twitter to discuss Maggie's storyline in Season 9.

Back when Negan was relatively new to The Walking Dead scene and killed Abraham and Glenn with his bat Lucille, it was impossible to ever imagine Rick letting him live. But nearly two seasons later and after the death of Carl, Rick makes his merciful move as a way to show that it's important that the humans stick together against the walkers. While it has been years of TV watching for viewers since Glenn's death, it's actually only been a few weeks for Maggie. That helps to explain her motivation to go against Rick's wishes in the Season 8 finale, but it was still rather shocking for her to take this noxious stance.

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Lauren Cohan's Maggie has been a moral and understanding leader for seasons now. So to see her plotting in the darkness with Jesus and Daryl was disheartening for some fans. (Although others support Maggie's wrath.) And in a season finale that ended with a hopeful look to the future, it's Maggie who leaves audiences feeling uneasy. So, as a way to deal with this character shift, fans are already coming up with their own ideas about Maggie in Season 9. Here are 13 theories about Maggie's next move. While the fandom is certainly conflicted about what she'll do, most everyone is unified in their concern for her.

1She Will Become The Villain

Negan is going to be imprisoned by Rick and Michonne, so The Walking Dead is going to need its next big villain. Some fans think that Maggie's meeting with Jesus and Daryl is an indication that she'll officially transition from hero to villain in Season 9.

2She Will Go After Rick & Michonne Too

AMC wrote as the caption of the video of Maggie's scene at her desk, "Maggie sets a game plan to get her vengeance against Negan." But perhaps she is planning vengeance against Rick and Michonne as well. Her words sure seem ominous enough, and she's obviously furious with both of them.

3She'll Only Have Eyes For Negan

Yet, other fans noted that while she doesn't agree with Rick's decision, she never says she'll go after Rick and Michonne. Instead, she'll only seek revenge for Glenn's murder — and that could mean just killing Negan and no one else.

4She Will Channel The Governor

Chris Hardwick said that Maggie was "turning into the Governess" during the Talking Dead episode after the Season 8 finale. And fans were also getting Governor-ish vibes from her. If so, the Hilltop could become a corrupt place like the Governor's Woodbury. The above Twitter user also noted that Daryl will serve as Maggie's number two. And that would make the show come full circle since Daryl's brother Merle once served the Governor. As the Governor had tortured Maggie and Glenn, though, it would be absurdly hypocritical of her to start channeling him.

5She Will Start A Civil War

Fans think a civil war between Maggie, Daryl, and Jesus and Rick and Michonne has been established for Season 9. Hardwick asked outgoing showrunner Scott Gimple during Talking Dead if Maggie was engaging in "some type of civil war plot against Rick." Gimple responded, "It looks like that to me." Although Gimple won't be The Walking Dead showrunner in Season 9, he will be the chief content officer of The Walking Dead television world. So if he thinks it looks there will be a civil war, there's a pretty good reason to believe that there will be one ... unless, of course, Gimple is intentionally leading fans astray. Either way, fans are divided about this division.

6She Will Die

One Twitter user brought up how Cohan may want to leave the series. (As The Hollywood Reporter noted, she is filming an ABC pilot and hasn't signed a contract for Season 9 yet.) So they theorized that Maggie will try to kill Rick, Michonne, and Negan in the Season 9 premiere and end up dead. Another Twitter user, @FILMV_CALI, noted that Maggie wasn't in Carl's dream of the future, so that could also be a sign that she will die soon.

7Rick Will Kill Maggie

If Maggie does wage war against Rick, some fans think that Rick will be the one to kill her. (What would Glenn and Hershel say??) The above fan even came up with another devastating turn of events due to this potential civil war — Daryl will become the leader of the Saviors.

8Daryl Will Not Actually Be #TeamMaggie

Some fans have an optimistic take when it comes to everyone's favorite crossbower, though it definitely hurt to see Daryl plotting against Rick. Maybe Daryl only agrees with Maggie as a way to get intel for Rick. However, Daryl and Rick did not see eye-to-eye on how to handle the Saviors in Season 8, so don't get your hopes up.

9It Was All A Dream

An even more cheerful interpretation of Maggie's conference with Jesus and Daryl is that it wasn't even real. Instead, it was a dream of Gregory's to see this group torn up from the inside. This theory is a long shot, but it could keep you happy until Season 9 premieres.

10She Had A Miscarriage

The status of Maggie's pregnancy was debated a lot in Season 8 and some fans think that maybe Maggie lost her baby and that's why she's so full of rage. While her pregnancy was kind of ignored in Season 8, the timeline of The Walking Dead indicates that she really could still be in the first stages of pregnancy. But this miscarriage theory would help to explain her uncharacteristic shift in allegiance.

11It Was All For Show

If you are against a civil war, then you'll like the above fan's theory. They propose that Maggie's threat is actually empty — and just a cliffhanger for the sake of end-of-season drama. Plus, if Maggie is still pregnant, she'll be a bit distracted from vengeance once she gives birth and may focus on raising her child.

12She Will Become Alpha

Comic book readers know that the next group to cause issues for Rick and company will be the Whisperers, led by Alpha. But what if Maggie's scene at the end of Season 8 is setting her up to become Alpha? (And Daryl to be her Beta?) That would be a huge jump for the series and a totally upsetting turn for Maggie's character.

13She Will Read Carl's Letter

At the beginning of Season 8, no one (who hasn't read the comics) would have believed that Rick would let Negan live. But the letters that Carl wrote before he died inspired Rick to be merciful. As Maggie knew Carl since Season 2 (and was with him when his mom died in childbirth), she'd presumably understand why Rick wanted to follow his son's wishes. So maybe Rick will hand over Carl's letter to Maggie and she'll see the same stained-glass light that Rick saw at the end of Season 8.

These theories about Maggie in Season 9 range from incredibly optimistic to incredibly pessimistic. And perhaps it's most likely that Maggie's role in Season 9 will put her somewhere in the middle. But the way Season 8 left her, fans will worry about just how dark this virtuous character is capable of becoming up until Season 9 premieres.