‘The Walking Dead’ Producers Explain Why They Killed [Spoiler]

There are massive spoilers ahead for last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

The creative team behind The Walking Dead subjected fans to a very brutal resolution to its season six cliffhanger in the seventh season premiere. But ultimately, it didn’t veer that far away from the source material. The character who died during Negan’s comic book introduction was the same character who got killed off on the show…and he wasn’t alone.

Via Entertainment Weekly, series creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott M. Gimple appeared on the post show, Talking Dead, where they explained why they made everyone wait before revealing that Glenn and Abraham were the sacrificial lambs on the show. “I think the hardest thing about it was thinking while starting the script, ‘Well, what would break Rick?’” said Gimple . “It was all in the book, in issue 100. But looking for a way to break the audience too. Not in a way that is in any way to hurt them, but for them to believe that Rick Grimes would be under the thumb of Negan. That he would go through an experience that would do that to him. That the audience would go through the experience too, so that they would believe that Rick could do what this guy says.”

Kirkman added that “I think more than anything, the introduction of Negan, as heartbreaking as it is and as gut-wrenching as it is, was really to just set the stage in a way of saying, you know, this show, this story isn’t going anywhere,” said Kirkman. “We still have a lot more to do. We’re setting the stage for a lot more to come. There is so much that comes out of this scene that has to be resolved. We felt like, as many years as we’ve been doing this, we wanted to send a clear message that we are just getting started and there is a lot that is going to be coming from this.”

Related: Read Our Review of The Walking Dead’s Season 7 Premiere

Of course, Steven Yeun also spoke up on the show about the death of his character, Glenn, who had been with the series since the very first episode.

“Personally for me, I think the death in the comic, Robert wrote such a messed up but at the same time incredible way to take something away — to make a story as impactful as it is. You read that comic, you kind of don’t want that to go to anyone else. It’s such an iconic moment and I think I even said, ‘Don’t give that to anybody else.’ It’s such a gnarly thing to say but sincerely, living that out was very wild, but at the same time, that moment happening and being realized on television in a different medium and to do it in the way that we did it I think is brave and at the same time super affecting. And for me, that was the motivation to be like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great.”

Back when The Walking Dead # 100 was released, the television series was still in its early days. Yeun actually wrote a published letter to Kirkman about the fate of his comic book counterpart that jokingly claimed he was outraged by it. But it seems like Yeun grew to embrace his character’s fate, even though it meant the end of his six season run.

What did you think about last night’s season premiere of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: AMC