Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Maggie Greene Slays the Walkers on the Bus on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 10: “Inmates”

*Mild comic book spoilers referenced ahead*

It’s too soon for Negan to show up on The Walking Dead Season 4 — and Robert Kirkman himself said the villainous leader of The Saviors would “definitely not” be here this season. RK even said Negan might not show up till maybe Season 9, which seems too far down the road (he probably just threw out a random number), but he said not to expect Negan too soon. Still, it’s possible the AMC show is planting seeds for later, by introducing us to a place labeled “Sanctuary” — which is also the name of The Saviors’s base — and giving it a dark name like Terminus. End of the line. Terminal. Terminated. It sounds bad, whether it’s really bad or not.

Once the “Sanctuary” radio tease showed up earlier in Season 4 some fans of the comics wondered if it could be related to villain Negan’s Saviors and their version of The Sanctuary. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and company don’t meet Negan in the comics until Issue #100, and we just past Issue #53 with the intro of Abraham and company. There’s still the road to D.C., The Hunters, getting to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, The Hilltop Colony, etc.

A while back, showrunner Scott Gimple admitted they were tempted to bring in Negan early, since he’s such an intriguing character, but his story wouldn’t have as much impact without a set-up. But that doesn’t mean Sanctuary or some of the “bad guys” we’ve seen can’t be connected to that set-up. Perhaps they are. After all, Rick and company meet members of The Saviors before they meet Negan, so maybe they are just advancing that story for TV. It’s still a long-shot, though.

Robert Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly there needs to be space between big bad villains like The Governor and Negan, which makes sense and adds fuel to the idea that he’s not coming anytime soon. “But we are all very excited about the prospect of bringing that guy into the show. The plan is that we will see him eventually.” It’s going to be really exciting to see which actor is cast in the role, but that’s speculation for another day.

Do you think the Terminus “Sanctuary” will end up connected to The Saviors or will those storylines be completely separate? There are already half a dozen different theories about Terminus — with “good” theories that it’s connected to Fort Benning or some Georgia version of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and bad fears that it’s a trap from The Hunters or various bandits/marauders. Besides, it’s not like The Saviors trademarked the word “Sanctuary” — it’s the kind of word you’d want to see if you’re a survivor on the road, and you’d certainly hope it’s as good as it sounds. The jury is still out on this Terminus sanctuary, but we’ll get our answers pretty soon.

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.