While the blame for Glenn’s death in the Season 7 opener of The Walking Dead could justifiably be pinned on Negan and to a lesser extent Daryl, it’s really Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman who is ultimately to blame.
Kirkman infamously killed Glenn off in issue 100 of The Walking Dead comic book, so it’s not exactly surprising that the TV series followed that blueprint. Still, many fans suspected that Glenn would be spared, as the show teased his death last season with the dumpster incident, and has also shifted from the source material in the past when it comes to significant death scenes. For instance, Tyreese was beheaded by the Governor in the comic book, but Hershel took his place on the show. Therefore, there was hope that the show might spare Glenn after all and the episode itself even teased this by killing off Abraham first. Alas, it appears that killing Glenn was the plan from the start, as Kirkman recently told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s just that there’s a lot of material that comes form Glenn’s death in the comics,” says Kirkman. “And while we do try to change things up to keep things interesting for the audience, and for me, this is one that there’s so much that comes from rick, there’s so much with Negan, because that character is someone that he killed, and definitely Maggie is someone that kind of gets put on the trajectory that affects a great number of stories and a great number of characters moving forward. So it was kind of essential that that part of the scene at least remained intact, unfortunately.”
Kirkman admits that other options were considered, but that it would have messed more narratives than they were comfortable with. “We did discuss options,” says Kirkman. “At the end of the day, we were like, pulling the thread on this sweater just pulls too many things apart and it’s too difficult to get back on that trajectory without that death.”
Glenn’s death, while necessary, was especially difficult for Kirkman to see through on the show, as he notes that it’s the first time he has killed a character in the comic in which he knew the person playing him on screen. “Glenn was actually the first death in the comic that happened after the person was cast,” says Kirkman. “Abraham died in the comic book before Cudlitz had ever been cast as Abraham. There are a lot of other big deaths that happened, but they were all done in the comic before the person was cast, so Glenn was actually the first time while I was writing the comic where I was like, ‘Oh, geez.’”
Be sure to check out EWs full interview with Kirkman here.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)