Glenn Rhee’s death should have been no surprise, so why were so many fans shocked by his demise?
The signs were there, fans just missed it…
or was it the Walking Dead’s greatest misdirection?
Season 6, Ep. 03 – ‘Thank You’ | Aired October 25, 2015
by TS Alan
I am an avid fan of both the Walking Dead television series as well as the comic. So when Steven Yeun’s character Glenn Rhee was horrifically torn apart by a massive horde of walkers at the end of this season’s episode three, I was not surprised because I know it was coming. And I’ll tell you why.
There have been many death’s of main and minor characters that we have loved and/or despised in both the comic and the television series: Shane (Jon Bernthal), Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) Axel (Lew Temple), The Governor (David Morrissey), T-Dog (Irone Singleton), Sophia (Madison Lintz), Andrea (Lauri Holden), Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), Tyresse (Chad L. Coleman) and Hershel (Scott Wilson). Those are just to mention a few. Each character’s death in the television series has not necessarily perished in the same manner as the comic, but the loss of those that fans have come to love doesn’t make that fact any less tragic.
Why Glenn is dead:
As for the death of Glenn. In the comic, Negan, leader of the Saviors, beats him to death with a barbed wire bat he calls Lucille. It is a brutal and undignified end to Glenn. However, this is not why I believe Glenn’s days were limited, because as fans know that just because a character gets killed off in the comic doesn’t mean they die in the show and vice-a-versa. Prime examples of this is Andrea, who in the comic is alive and in a relationship with Rick, and Carol who committed suicide by walker in the comic but is very much still a part of the television series.
There were two factors in my belief that Glenn’s days were limited. First and foremost were the signs throughout season five and continuing into the new season, and I’m surprised that fans of the show missed it. Simply, Glenn had become the moral compass of the group. As a Walking Dead fan, you should have seen it. Like every moral compass of the group, Steve Yeun’s character got what every other moral compass has been given from creator Robert Kirkman, their end — just like Dale and Hershel.
The second reason I thought Glenn was close to his end was something Kirkman stated this year at his New York Comic Con panel, The Walking Dead: An Inside Look with Robert Kirkman, that more elements from the comic would appear in the television series. He also alluded to the fact that no character was safe, even joking about the death of Daryl. But was is it a playful comment or a foreshadowing of things to come? One should not forget that Robert Kirkman has previously made comments about no character in the comic or television show being safe. After all it is a world filled with walkers. So don’t be surprised to see more of those fan favorites meeting their end this season.
Why Glenn is still alive:
The Walking Dead is known for misdirection, and killing off Glenn Rhee at the height of his popularity would not be good business for the show and the revenue it generates for AMC. Well, that’s a logical assumption. But in the scene of Glenn falling to the ground we clearly see him being disemboweled by some walkers, or do we?
What do we see truly in the above clip? There’s a lot of blood and guts, but as Michonne stated to Heath earlier in the episode, “Have you ever been covered in so much blood that you didn’t know if it was yours, or walkers’, or your friends’? Huh?” So now what don’t you see in the clip? There are two very obvious hints that Glenn at the moment is still alive. First, Glenn is not choking on and spitting up his own blood. Second, did you see how Nicholas and Glenn fell from the garbage dumpster? It appears that Glenn landed under Nicholas. Furthermore, Nicholas’s body is not in frame, adding to the possibility that he is atop of Glenn. So is all that blood and guts really Glenn’s or do they belong to Nicholas? Unfortunately fans are going to have to wait for at least one more episode after next week’s extended episode, ‘He’s Not Here’, which will focus on Morgan and what happened with him between episodes three and six.
Here’s one more thought to chew on: The Talking Dead after show did not have Steven Yeun on as a guest, as they usually do with actors whose characters have met their end on the show. And did you see an ‘In Memoriam’ to Glenn as the show always does to a fallen character? That’s several more reason why Glenn is not dead (for now!).[Beware Spoiler Below]
Now about Rick and his injured hand:
Rick keeps re-injuring his hand and after this week’s episode it seems he’s done some serious damage to it. Fans of the comic all know that Rick lost a hand in issue 28, when the Governor decapitated it during a torture session. So is it time for Rick to lose is hand, or perhaps something more sinister? Could it be that open wound has been infected from the walker he stabbed in the head? Is it possible Rick will have to cut off his own hand or will the Deputy Grimes character be getting a complete re-write by elimination? Remember no one is save in the series, not Daryl, Carol, Carl or Rick. Like every other fan, I’m going to have to wait for that revelation.
A full list of who died and who still lives for the series as well as the comic can be found on the Walking Dead Wikia.