Now that Rick has finally found the strength to fight back against Negan, we’re going to be seeing a lot less groveling and a lot more rising up — at least, if the recent promos are to be believed. With these new episodes, we’ll also be seeing some new players. And, according to one of TWD‘s stars, Lennie James, we may be watching some characters switch alliances.
In a recent interview, James told Digital Spy, “Certain events are going to decide what sides people take – and it’s not going to be a clear division.” He went on to say that some characters may come to “the light” while others will turn to “the dark side.” Given how many characters are currently hanging out in the myriad of camps right now, there’s plenty of room for some unexpected migration and surprising new partnerships. Here are 10 Walking Dead characters who could be switching sides by the time Season 7 is done.
In some ways, if the Hilltop’s current leader was to switch his allegiances, it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Thus far, he’s shown that he’s relentlessly self-absorbed and that his moral compass is askew at best. If he’s willing to kneel before the Saviors, what else will he do for them? If Robert Kirkman’s comic series are any indication, we can expect to see some outright villainy from Gregory in the next few episodes as his leadership is threatened by Maggie. Whether he fully aligns himself with Negan and the Saviors, or he takes on an underhanded strategy all his own will remain to be seen. But there are few other characters on The Walking Dead that seem more likely to turn on their allies than Gregory.
When we first met Dwight, he was on the run from Negan. Now that he’s reluctantly joined the ranks of the Saviors once more, he seems to have resigned himself to doing his duties. But we’ve seen cracks in his compliant exterior — signs that he still isn’t completely on board with what he’s signed up for. Whether it’s longing for Sherry or potentially regretting the executions he’s been tasked with carrying out, there seems to be some glimmer of humanity left in Dwight.
In The Walking Dead comics, Dwight eventually turns double agent, and works to help Rick and Ezekiel take down Negan. He becomes the Saviors’ new leader, and forges a tenuous partnership between Alexandria and the Sanctuary. Whether that will ultimately be how Dwight’s story shakes out on the TV series remains to be seen.
Thus far, Enid’s role on The Walking Dead has been disjointed and at times, confusing. First, she was a sneaky teen that passed her time by breaking out of Alexandria. Then, she became a confidante and love interest to Carl. Lately, she’s bonded with Maggie at her new home in Hilltop. Despite her connections to vital Walking Dead characters, we still don’t know all that much about Enid — or what she was doing all that time she was off the grid.
Some fans have hypothesized that Enid is some kind of spy for the Saviors. And while it’s hard to imagine her wanting to do any serious damage to Carl and Maggie, it’s also been difficult to discern what her motivations have been from the get go. If she ended up being a turncoat, it would prove to be a turning point for both Carl and Maggie, and finally give us some clarity as to her purpose in the series.
If we’ve learned anything from The Walking Dead, it’s that people will go to some pretty extreme measures to ensure their own survival. Sherry is a perfect example. Even though it meant severing ties with her husband while she was grieving the loss of her sister, she “married” Negan to secure a position of relative comfort for herself. It’s pretty clear, from the limited time we’ve spent with her, that she’s not exactly thrilled with her current lot in life.
If given the chance to escape, especially if Dwight is involved, it would be a no-brainer for Sherry to jump ship and head off for the Hilltop, Alexandria, the Kingdom, or pretty much any other place that would get her away from her husband and his sociopathic ways. And since she’s been, well, intimately involved with Negan, it’s possible that she might have some valuable intel to share.
Though Heath has been around since the beginning of Season 6, in some ways he still feels like a new character. That’s because we haven’t gotten much of a chance to know him. We do know that he was in over his head when it came to surviving the wilds of the post-apocalyptic world. We learned during the raid on the Sanctuary that he is — or at least, was — skittish about killing people.
The last we saw of him, he was telling Tara that he’s learned he has to look after himself, above and beyond anything else, if he’s going to survive. Then, he disappeared. His newfound, harder stance on the world could mean he’s more amenable to taking up with less-than-stellar people that will help him stay alive. Or it could mean that we’ll end up seeing him at Alexandria’s doorstep once more, ready to fight for the people who protected him for so long.
Few characters on The Walking Dead have endured bigger changes than Carol Peletier. And as of late, she’s been especially shifty. At one point, it would have seemed silly to count her out of any fight. This is, after all, the woman who came to her friends’ rescue at Terminus armed with a sniper gun and a rocket. But nowadays, she seems more concerned with getting her mind right. And that could mean that she’ll be less content with waging war against the Saviors.
Now, she is pretty friendly with Ezekiel, who will likely play a major role in the battle against Negan. But maybe that plan will be enough for her to bid farewell to the Kingdom for good. Or, perhaps her soul searching could lead her to resent Rick, Michonne, and all the other characters she’s fought alongside. Would that be enough to make her seek revenge? Sure, it’s far-fetched, but this is The Walking Dead, after all.
When we last saw Eugene, the Saviors were carting him off to an uncertain fate. And he didn’t exactly looked thrilled about it. The Walking Dead‘s resident eccentric softy isn’t a great fit for the Sanctuary. The group’s propensity for massive amounts of violence and torture could finally be what breaks him. And that may be precisely why he is so prone to becoming like them.
Given Eugene’s fragile mental state, Negan could easily re-program him into believing that it’s the Saviors, and not Rick, that will truly be able to protect him. Of course, that would mean that he’d have to forget that he watched Negan bash two of his best friends’ skulls in. But we’ve seen plenty of characters experience moments of weakness when faced with their own mortality on The Walking Dead.
[Update, 2/27/17: As revealed in “Hostiles and Calamities,” Eugene appears to have switched allegiance to Negan. However, only time will tell if this was a true betrayal or part of a long-term plan on Eugene’s part.]
Simon is one of those Walking Dead characters that you can’t exactly hate. Admittedly, that’s only because his backstory and motivations are still a complete mystery. He seems to relish in being one of Negan’s right-hand lieutenants right now. But what if his leader starts to look a bit more vulnerable? There’s little to stop him from joining forces with another colony. Characters like Simon will put themselves first, even though they seem firmly entrenched in their group. For them, it’s less about allegiance than it is about staying alive. Rick isn’t the type of leader who will eagerly accept his enemy’s cast-offs. But he might see someone like Simon, who’d have insight into how Negan thinks, as a valuable resource.
On one hand, it’s almost impossible to imagine Morgan going back to his “Clear” days. He’s come so far, in terms of conquering his mental demons. He’s a reminder that almost anyone on The Walking Dead can come back from the brink. Still, he hasn’t exactly made peace with Rick yet. So, his new friend Ezekiel’s alliance with Rick could prove to be a bit too much for him to handle. If Morgan isn’t ready for an all out war, then he, like Carol, may seek greener pastures somewhere. If he runs into a new group, he may think their methodology for survival is more his style at first. Unfortunately, fans of the comics know that in some ways, the worst is yet to come. And anyone looking to form an alliance with strangers should be wary.
Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom have all spent the better part of the last season trying to survive Negan. So, it might seem almost impossible that they could one day fight by his side. The Walking Dead comics give us some insight into a future where the Sanctuary is no longer the big bad. By the end of Season 7, there may be a new foe that threatens both Rick’s allies and Negan’s. It seems like only a matter of time before Rick puts the Saviors’ leader in his place. If Negan ends up under the thumb of his foes, who’s to say he won’t offer to help them in a new fight if it means he gets a chance to quench his bloodlust once more?
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