Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Maggie Greene Helps Injured Michonne on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2: “Infected”

We don’t need a special rumor to get us prepped for a major death in the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4. This is what they do. Season 1 doesn’t really count, since there were only six episodes, but Dale and Shane both died in the second half of Season 2, and Merle and Andrea both died in the second half of Season 3. Why should Season 4 be too different?

Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman previously told Entertainment Weekly the Season 4 major character death count would be different from Season 3, which saw four main cast deaths in Lori, T-Dog, Merle, and Andrea. “We will not get rid of four major characters in Season 4,” he said. “Because we have to keep things off balance. It has to be different every season. Maybe we’ll kill two, maybe we’ll kill 10. Who knows? But it will be different.”

Season 4 has already seen the deaths of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and The Governor (David Morrissey). With so many characters out on the road in the next eight episodes, we’d be shocked it more people didn’t die. TWD loves to kill off redshirts, so we’re not going to get too attached to most of the people on Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) bus. But we are attached to Glenn and hope he’s safe.

Comicbook.com recently got tongues wagging with a rumor about a major death. As they wrote,  "However, we’ve got a pretty good indication of which cast member will be dying, and let’s just say it will be a real shocker. If what we believe is correct, then one of the main cast members who has not been killed in the comic book series will die during Season 4." So maybe the season’s major character death count will be three: Hershel, The Governor and ____.

IF they are correct, there are only four people on screen right now who are still alive in the comic book series, which is still being written: Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).

Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) are already dead by now, in the comics. Glenn is still alive by the prison battle, but he was killed later in the comics. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino, and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) never existed in the comics. Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.) existed, but as a Woodbury guy … technically he didn’t die in the books, so maybe he does fit. But is he main cast?

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carl, Rick, and Carol Walk Back to the Prison on The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 9

Who, of that group, is most likely to die in the second half? We’re crossing off Rick. It’s too soon. Not saying Rick will live forever, but to kill off the main character in Season 4, when this series could go on for another five or more years? Doubt it. What about Carl? It would truly be a shocker for Carl to die at this point, especially since showrunner Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman have talked about Carl’s scenes with Negan in the comic book. They seem to be looking forward to that point. Maggie? It would be kind of shocking to have a second Greene family member die this season, and it would be devastating to see Glenn and Maggie split up. Someone should be able to be happy on this show! But we’d be even more shocked if Michonne was killed. If they went in that direction, maybe they’d dig deeper into her past, with the whole motherhood connection, then have her be a surprise death?

What about people not in the comics, like Daryl? Would they dare tick off his fans? The only reason we can see Daryl dying is if Norman Reedus wanted off the show, and that doesn’t seem likely. That’s the case for any of the stars, though, if they want out of their contracts for whatever reason.

How about Beth? Beth could be considered main cast, but would her death be shocking? We’d be sad, but not shocked, to lose some of the supporting characters, like Sasha or Bob. Plus, the girls — will both Lizzie and Mika see Season 5?

How about the three newbies coming, probably in Episode 10 — Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). Vulture recently talked to Scott Gimple about Abraham and Eugene, asking how those characters will fit in. We get to know them a little bit,” Scott said. “They affect the characters’ stories a great deal, but we’re not going to get into their stories in a deep way until next season.” So we should expect to see Abraham and Eugene in Season 5, but … what about Rosita? She is actually still alive in the comics, but the TV show loves to do its own thing.

There are so many characters for the show to balance in the second half. As much as we hate seeing characters die, they almost need to pare things down a bit so this still feels like one cohesive story moving forward.

What’s your death prediction for the second half? Which major and/or minor characters will kick the undead bucket?

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.