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Discussion/Meta It's a Chess Game

Discussion in 'Speculation' started by Doctor Grimes, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Since this has been scattered about, I'd figure I'd compile it into one thread. This takes into account the "chess board" theory and the "mirror universe" theory.

    Scott Gimple is an accomplished chess player. Knowing this, it's interesting that Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Michael Cudlitz have recently referred to the interplay between Rick and Negan as a game of chess.

    "It's a chess game for Negan: Do you take out the strongest guy to prove a point? Or the weakest to show you don't care — which shows you're even more twisted? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, directed at each person, [allowed Negan] to look in their eyes and see who he was dealing with."
    - Michael Cudlitz

    "One thing I will say about Negan is he’s no dummy, you know? In a game of chess, he’s two moves ahead."
    - Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    "Where Negan and Rick go from here is going to be a bit of a chess game for a while. Negan is a move or two ahead of Rick right now. It's not over for Rick. Negan is just starting the breaking-in process of Rick."
    - Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    "It's a chess game and Negan is going to do anything he can to get the advantage. Negan having Daryl makes Rick think, too. Negan is playing a couple cards, and you can look at it a couple different ways. Negan always has a couple balls in the air and Daryl is one of them."
    - Jeffrey Dean Morgan​

    At the end of 7.01, there was an interesting hypothetical future scene with everyone seated at a picnic table.

    [​IMG]

    The seating arrangement piqued the interest of many since it was a bit unusual (Gabriel so close to Rick, Carl so far away, etc.)

    This is the seating arrangement

    -------------- Glenn -------------
    Maggie -------------- Abe
    Spencer ------------- Sasha
    Eugene -------------- Morgan
    Aaron ---------------- Rosita
    Enid ------------------ Tara
    Carl & Judith ------- (idk it's not even)
    Carol ---------------- Daryl
    Gabriel -------------- Michonne
    ------------ Rick -----------------​

    In the background of this scene is a checkered picnic cloth:

    Untitled-1.png

    Not unlike a chess or checkerboard.

    upload_2016-11-13_12-11-6.jpeg
    (which in some variants come in white/black, white/red, red/black, white/green, etc.)

    Figuring this, arranging the seating as a chessboard (with Rick as the King on the black/red side of the board -- meaning he's on "defense"/making the second move...)

    Rick: King (Black on white square)
    Michonne: Queen (Black on black square)
    Daryl: Bishop (Black on white square)
    Gabriel: Bishop (Black on black square)
    Carol: Knight (Black on white square)
    Tara: Knight (Black on black square)
    Carl: Rook (Black on black square)
    Rosita: Rook (Black on white square)​

    With everyone else being pawns. [Of note: pawns are not useless or invaluable. Pawns are a key part of any chess game. As a general rule, a bishop or knight is worth the value of about two pawns. Pawns are also the only pieces that can become any other piece on the board. Once a pawn crosses into enemy territory, they can transform (usually into a Queen or Rook as those are the most valuable and powerful pieces in the game).]

    Even stranger? The line-up in the clearing in 6.16-7.01 was in the same order as the seating at the picnic table (but with Tara, Gabriel, and Carol missing). With interchanging pawns/non-pawns.

    Glenn (pawn) - Rosita (Rook) - Tara (Knight) - Daryl (Bishop) - Michonne (Queen) - Abe (pawn) - Maggie (pawn) -
    Rick (King) -
    Sasha (pawn) - Gabriel (Bishop) - Aaron (pawn) - Carol (Knight) - Carl (Rook) - Eugene (pawn)

    Only Michonne and Abraham were not where they were supposed to be. Abraham was in Michonne's space. I will get back to that in a minute.

    Now, one thing that's interesting about chess is that it's two groups comprised of the same number of players facing off in opposition -- only they're of different colors.

    What's interesting is that some fans have noticed that the Saviors eerily mirror members of Rick's group. Almost like their alternate universe counterparts.

    This is a loose example of how the Saviors can be seen as mirrors/foils to Rick's group (using some analysis):

    Negan - Rick (The Kings)
    Dwight - Daryl (Bishops)
    Simon - Michonne* (The Queens)
    Chelle - Maggie (Pawns)
    Paula - Carol (Knights)
    Molly - Abraham* (Pawns)
    Jiro - Glenn (Pawns)
    Sherry - Rosita (Rooks)
    Joey - Eugene (Pawns)
    Arat - Tara (Knights)
    Lucille - Carl (maybe? This one is arguable but interesting) (Rooks)

    Still unknown:
    On Rick's side: Sasha, Gabriel, Aaron, Morgan, Spencer, Enid (on Rick's side)
    On Negan's side: Gavin, Jared, Bud, Primo, Dr. Carson, Roman, Laura, Isabella (yet to be introduced), Donnie, Gordon

    Negan : Rick
    While Rick and Negan don't share similar personalities, they're both leaders of strong communities -- both who will resort to downright cruelty to ensure the safety of their respective communities (although their motives are very different). Kirkman went down as saying Rick and Negan are two heads to the same coin.

    "When it comes to the Saviors, and Negan in particular, the way I’ve always thought about this in the comics is this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality, but is still an intellectual and capable leader who’s kept his group alive against all odds just as long as Rick has. It’s really the best encountering the best. When these two forces come head to head, things are gonna get interesting. This is a much different group than they’ve ever encountered. The Saviors are a group they’re not really prepared for.”​

    So, in that respect, Negan is like the antithesis of Rick. His mirror image in almost every way.


    Dwight : Daryl
    This one seems obvious. Daryl and Dwight's story seem bound to be together. It's no surprise -- comic Dwight was created to be sort of an approximate to TV Daryl. Dwight ends up taking Daryl's crossbow and using it to kill Denise, which sends Daryl hunting for Dwight -- but this ends up backfiring, as Daryl became the hunted. Plus? Dwight now seems to be going out of his way to take on Daryl's attributes (vest, crossbow, even his bike).


    Simon : Michonne*
    Simon is Negan's "right hand man" -- or the most valuable player in Negan's game of chess. Negan assumed Abraham was Rick's "Simon" -- so he took him out at the start of the game. This is because Abraham is a man, like Simon, and was literally seated to the right of Rick in the line-up. However, this was a mistake. Michonne is Rick's most powerful ally and his true "right hand man" (or, in a game of chess, his "Queen").

    Like Michonne, Simon appears to be the level-headed, friendly, cool-operator at the side of the "King". If they do the tower fight remix, I have no doubt it'll be Simon v. Michonne. And it's because they're filling the same role.


    Chelle : Maggie
    Chelle sports an appearance that is even downright similar to Maggie's. They're around the same age. What's interesting is that Chelle lost her father (Frank) and was planning on naming her child after her dead father -- but tragically she lost the child. In the comic, Maggie names her child after Hershel (her own dead father).

    Disconcertingly, Chelle tells Maggie about her dead boyfriend -- who was blown up when Daryl launched the rocket launcher. Guess who lost their husband? Maggie.


    Paula : Carol
    Paula's casting call read, "40s-50s, Cool, controlled, formidable. She’s faced tragedy and trauma and come out the other side stronger and harder. But she’s also become colder and less outwardly emotional — she avoids attachments and maintains a toughly pragmatic, nihilistic worldview…", which, in a way, mirrors Carol's emotional state at various points in the series (although this appears to be a smokescreen to veil a deep-seated hurt).

    Paula also lost a husband and four daughters. Similarly, Carol has lost her husband (Ed) and a daughter (Sophia) plus three surrogate child figures (Mika, Lizzie, and Sam [or perhaps Beth can be seen as approximation to this]).


    Molly : Abraham*
    Molly and Simon are the only two on Negan's side that have gender-swapped foils -- and I believe this is because Negan was meant to underestimate or mistake Michonne for a man (Abraham) as Rick's "right hand man". Molly is definitely the Abraham foil though, without a doubt. Here was her casting call:

    "50s-60s Like someone’s black sheep biker great aunt. An extrovert with badass Texan charm and a darkly humorous take on life. She knows she’s not long for this world, but doesn’t let that get her down. In spite of Mary’s age and general demeanor, she is not someone you want to mess with…"

    It's basically Abraham, but in biker mama form. Even weirder? Molly died by getting her head bashed by Maggie. Kind of like Abraham getting bludgeoned to death by Negan.


    Jiro : Glenn
    Barring the fact they're both Asian (which is a surface-level comparison), Jiro was a pawn who went out with his men and got killed in battle. Just like how Glenn is a guy who went out with his friends -- and inevitably got killed. He was also killed with a head injury like Glenn -- and tried to speak while he was dying.

    Admittedly, this is a shallow comparison since it's primarily based on race and not personality/role, so it's possible this doesn't apply. But it's possible.


    Sherry : Rosita
    Both women underestimate their inner strength and rely on their sexuality to gain what they perceive as security (Sherry offering to be Negan's wife to save Dwight; Rosita attracting Abraham (and the men before him) as a protector). Furthermore, the fact spoilers for 7.04 indicate Dwight shows some unsettling interest in Rosita is interesting -- given it's possible Rosita is Sherry's foil.

    Plus the Rosita-Daryl-Denise trio in "Twice As Far" appeared to be a mirror to Sherry-Dwight-Tina. Both involved the procuring of medicine and an unfortunate encounter with Daryl/Dwight (in both incarnations).


    Joey : Eugene
    Barring the fact they're both overweight men, Fat Joey appears to be a guy who is taken as an idiot because of his appearance and demeanor, but he might be more cunning than he appears. Likewise, Eugene is the same. He disarms people with his demeanor, but he contains more bravery and intelligence than people would think.

    In addition, it was Joey who sabotaged Daryl's escape attempt by acting incompetent, much like how Eugene foiled Dwight's kidnapped of Rosita and Daryl by playing possum and then biting him.


    Arat : Tara
    I mean, the names alone. I don't know what else to say.


    Lucille : Carl
    Both are the thing/person closest to the leader (Negan/Rick). Both get shot and lose a part of themselves. Both are a reminder of the leader's dead spouse. Both are the source of the leader's power. Both are unpredictable.


    What is interesting is that (if this all holds true) Molly-Abraham and Simon-Michonne are the only gender-swapped foils (sans the arguable connection between Lucille and Carl). Coupled with Abraham being seated in the line-up where Michonne should've been in the line-up -- and Negan being under the impression he took Rick's "right hand man" (aka his "Queen") -- this could be indicative of Negan making a miscalculation.

    Negan took out Abraham because he assumed (incorrectly) that he was the most powerful piece on Rick's side of the board. And it's a mistake that could prove costly.

    Anyway... I will surely come back to revisit this.
     
  2. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    Thanks so much for putting this all in one place. I'm excited to see if it plays out onscreen.
     
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  3. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Searching for Sophia

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    Awesome theory! And after episode 4, the queen is ready to make her move.
     
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  4. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    So far it looks like the theory is holding up. Rick is basically powerless right now but his Queen is ready and willing to do the work for him.

    Rosita and Carl seem to be full of aggression and ready for action now.

    I don't know much about chess besides what I read here. What do you think @Doctor Grimes ?
     
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  5. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Well, they're the Rooks -- and Rooks are the second most powerful pieces on the board next to the Queen. Rooks are notorious for making attacks on the opponents King and are often integral in a checkmate.
     
  6. anya7890

    anya7890 Searching for Sophia

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    we know both Carl and Rosita make attacks against negan, but I do wonder how sherry will play into all of this? according to your outline, she is a rook as well, so hypothetically, sherry should make an attack on rick, but I just can't think of a scenario were she would do that or why.
     
  7. Barbarossa-TWD

    Barbarossa-TWD Ricktator

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    Well so far TF are "playing" as their pieces.
    • King Rick is sticking close to home not making too many moves
    • Queen Michonne is preparing herself to take over the board. The Queen can make moves like all the other pieces except the knights, she can power thru in a straight line backwards and forwards like the Rooks and she can move diagonally backwards and forwards like Bishops. Michonne training herself as a sharp shooter is literally putting another "move" into her arsenal.
    • Bishops Daryl and Gabriel represent their pieces in the way they behave. Bishops move diagonally upon their own color (black or white) throughout the game. One bishop travels the path of the head and the other enjoins the path of the heart.
    • Knights Carol and Tara out riding the range.
    • Rooks Rosita and Carl are power players we see that they are the only two to talk trash to Dwight and Negan showing no fear.
    • Pawns Aaron and Eugene they are the "worker bees" and the infantry. We see both doing their bit to help out and keep order.
     
  8. Mullet of Lies

    Mullet of Lies In Red Swim Trunks We Trust
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    Bumpitty bump.

    Someone on reddit pointed out the close up of a chess board during 7x08.

    [​IMG]

    I know nothing about chess but I figured it might be worth dropping over here :lol:
     
  9. Appetence

    Appetence Eternally failing at productivity bc TITTD
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    Good job on the "bump" @Mullet of Lies ;)

    Someone also pointed out in the Richonne Positivity thread (I think it was @Butler36 ) that one of the bricks in the cell had what looks like a possible Queen piece on it's side. You can see it during Rick and Michonne's conversation at the part when she it touching his chest "you said that".

    It is not super obvious, but eh, maybe that's what they were going for? I will try to get a pic and add to this post....

    [​IMG]

    Let's speculate away!!! (what else is there to do during the hiatus? :lol:)


    Also, do those figures look like any particular chess pieces to anyone in Mullet's pic she posted above??

    Edit: here we go:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. anya7890

    anya7890 Searching for Sophia

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    The pieces looked to belong to thier WWII set.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Barbarossa-TWD

    Barbarossa-TWD Ricktator

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    GREAT CATCH!!!

    I was looking all over for that!!!!! Where does this come from? Not sure why they have the Swiss flag for Nazi Germany.

    This is why I think that Dwight will NOT change sides in the series.
     
  12. Barbarossa-TWD

    Barbarossa-TWD Ricktator

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    So is Dwight the rook since it is most prominent???
     
  13. epiath

    epiath Ricktator

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    Yeah! I saw this and was like "it has to mean somethang!"