Gotta HAND it to "The Walking Dead" for knowing how to keep fans talking, speculating, and freaking out until the Season 7 premiere.

The cast and producers were at New York Comic Con over the weekend and shared a jaw-dropping sneak peek scene from very early in the premiere episode. It shows the direct aftermath of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) kill, from the perspective of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who has enough blood on his face (right cheek) to have been close to the person killed, but perhaps not directly next to them?
In the clip (watch below), Rick glares at Negan, and whispers that he's going to kill him. Not today, not tomorrow, but he'll kill Negan. It's that Terminus bravado we've seen before, and Negan answers it right away. Negan asks his own right-hand man, Simon, what Rick had as a weapon. (A hatchet.) Then he taunts Rick, asking if he has his own right-hand man, or was that who Negan just bashed to death? Negan ultimately takes Rick's hatchet and drags our Ricktator into his own RV.

That's where the clip ends, and where our speculation begins.

Watch the scene:

First of all, who was killed? Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was to Rick's direct right, with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) next to her. If it's a "man" who was killed, Abe seems like a decent suspect by proximity, even if Glenn (Steven Yeun), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are probably more direct choices for who Rick would pick as his right-hand men/women.

Second, the "right hand man" talk suggests Negan may be dragging Rick into the RV to do what was done to Rick in the "Walking Dead" comic book back in the Governor era. In the comic book, Rick had his hand chopped off by the Governor as punishment. The TV show never went there, but it's possible this season will pick up the iconic punishment in a storyline "remix," further showing how Negan is even more dangerous than the Governor, and not someone you can casually threaten. Or it could just be a promo tease to get fans speculating.

But it wouldn't be out of the question, since Season 7 premiere director Greg Nicotero said other things happen in the first episode that are even more heartbreaking than the Negan kill. Rick being shamed and maimed into losing his hand may or may not qualify as one of those things.

"The Walking Dead" Season 7 premieres Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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The Walking Dead
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Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the weeks and months following a zombie apocalypse. Led by police officer Ric... Read More

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