Warning: This article contains potential spoilers for season 6 of The Walking Dead.
On The Walking Dead, the hair on someone’s head (or face) can be studied almost as deeply as the characters’ motives; it’s not like they can just step into a post-apocalyptic hair salon and ask for a couple inches off the top. So when one of the show’s stars gets a drastic haircut, it’s enough for fans to start worrying.
Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Greene on the show, has now joined the Kit Harington Club of Hair Scrutiny after revealing that she chopped off a good chunk of her hair while promoting a recent Facebook Q&A. While her hair was obscured with a piece of paper, fans got a better look at the haircut after she publicly debuted it Friday night.
— Lauren Cohan (@LaurenCohan) December 2, 2015
With Alexandria left in shambles in the Walking Dead mid-season finale, it doesn’t look like Maggie may be getting a proper haircut anytime soon. But with no new episodes until Feb. 14, some fans are left wondering if Maggie is going to meet a grisly end in the zombie apocalypse.
— Leah Callahan (@leahdavidson33) December 12, 2015
Lauren's short hair here concerns me. did maggie get a hair cut OR WORSE? https://t.co/nnxH4kx8Ya
— more nerdy less dodger (@princessdeleon) December 2, 2015
Fans have plenty of reasons to be concerned. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was just recently cast to play Negan, a real piece of work from the comics who’s geared up to be the show’s next big bad. We have yet to see him in action, but his name already carries plenty of weight in the preview AMC released right after the mid-season finale aired.
In the comics, Negan’s arrival is bad news—especially for Maggie’s husband Glenn Rhee. Negan bashes Glenn’s head in with a bat named Lucille in one of the biggest moments of the series. If the scene plays out on TV the way it does in the comics, Maggie will lose yet another person she loves. Because the show recently revealed that Maggie is pregnant, she would also be left to have and raise that child on her own. (And considering the lack of proper medical facilities in the zombie apocalypse, those chances may be slim.) It’s always possible that Maggie will cut her hair as a way to cope with Glenn’s death.
But some fans feel that giving Glenn his comic book death so soon after his latest near-death experience would ultimately cheapen it and make his season 6 plot feel like manipulation from the writers. So if Glenn doesn’t die, it’s always possible that Maggie could go in his place in a plot twist to shock fans of the comics (and probably to fuel some manpain once Glenn finds out).
This isn’t the first time that Walking Dead fans have fretted over an actor’s haircut. The same thing happened last year after Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, stepped out without his beard and with a shorter haircut last year, which ultimately turned out to be a plot point in season 5. And while reports of Steven Yeun getting “a little trim” after filming the climactic dumpster scene from earlier season, we discovered that he’s still alive. (For now.)
Besides, Maggie cutting her hair would actually be closer in line with her character’s story arc; she and Glenn got drastic haircuts around the time they headed over to the prison—Maggie chopped most of hers off while Glenn shaved his head.
It’s also possible that if Cohan returns for season 7, she could wear a wig or hair extensions if Maggie is keeping her hair length. She might have had to cut it for another project, and in that case there are workarounds.
Until we see or know otherwise, all we can do is speculate.