While the season finale of “The Walking Dead” played on AMC Sunday night, fans braced for the death of a beloved character. Surely Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) were safe. Or were they? “Walking Dead” fans have come to expect harsh endings for beloved characters, but who was next?
In a season where fans had lost Beth (Beth Emily Kinney), Noah (Tyler James Williams) and Tyreese (Chad Coleman), many suspected Glenn (Steven Yeun) to be the show’s next victim. Although Glenn survived the gunshot wound, fans feared he was dead after getting surrounded by walkers. Luckily, he emerged with Nicholas (Michael Traynor) at the end of the show and will live to see Season 6. That is, if the group can find Glenn a doctor now that Pete (Corey Brill) has been killed.
“The Walking Dead” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd clarified the creators’ intentions in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Although rumors circulated that Glenn would be dead by the end of the season, Hurd revealed that the AMC series never planned for that to happen.
"That's never how we approach things on the show," Hurt dished. "We don't think, 'What can we build up to and how can we shock the audience.' It really is the evolution of the overall chain for the season as well as character development."
The comic book storyline, which the show has liberally adapted, saves an unpleasant death for Glenn. En route to the Hilltop Colony, where Glenn considers safer for his family, the group is ambushed by the brutal leader of The Saviors, Negan. In response to Rick’s murder of Savior members, Negan kills Glenn while he cries out for his wife Maggie. Rick and Maggie bury Glenn in the Hilltop spot, and Greene stays at the colony with adopted daughter Sophia and her new baby to-be.
Instead of Negan, a group ominously known as The Wolves was introduced in the Season 5 finale. They do not appear in the comic books, but the re-naming could be an attempt to stave off series spoilers for fans. Negan could possibly be not too far behind.
“The Walking Dead” returns for its sixth season on AMC October 12 at 9 p.m. EST.