Earlier today, EW reported that that Steven Yeun, who stars as Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead, thinks that Negan’s impending arrival is “awesome”.
WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics as well as possible futures for the show follow.
Seriously, do not continue reading if you have not read through almost all of the comics or if you haven’t already been spoiled for things that happen later in the comics.
I’m not kidding, from now on, read at your own risk.
This should come as a bit of a surprise considering Steven Yeun knows about Glenn’s comic book death. I mean, if you’re a comic reader (or have even just been spoiled or spoiled yourself regarding Glenn’s future), you know that the show is already entrenched in the [albeit slightly different] events that lead up to that moment. So why, then, would the actor who plays Glenn Rhee act almost thrilled that the show is finally introducing Negan?
Yes, it’s common knowledge that show runner Scott Gimple has no problem with changing up the fate of The Walking Dead‘s comic characters, but it’s hard to believe he would do so with Glenn – even if he has a nearly 50/50 history with his changes. Lori, Dale, and Andrea died earlier than their comic counterparts, while Tyreese died much later. And Carol and Judith are still alive! But Glenn Rhee’s death is still, in my opinion, the most important one from the comics – not only with its timing but because of its gruesome manner and how important his killer (Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) continues to be. I just don’t think making major changes to any of this could be a very intelligent decision on Gimple’s part.
That said, I don’t remember any previous season being this rife with hints toward characters’ deaths – even outright threats that especially seemed to point toward Glenn Rhee’s certain demise. And yet Steven Yeun was quoted on EW as saying, “Negan kills Glenn in the comics, but rest assured that we don’t necessarily do what’s in the comics…There’s a clear divide in the way we tell a story on television, and the way that story is told in the comics, because it has to be. And everybody will have to see what happens, but we definitely tell our story in the way that television should be told.”
Yeun also brought up what he called “the beauty of adaptation”. “There is something to be said about something being predictable. I’m sure there are iconic moments, but at the same time, we want to keep this show as fresh and alive as possible, and we’re going to tell that story that exists for the world we’ve created. And it is inspired by the world Robert Kirkman has created, but it’s also its own entity, to some degree. So, yeah. I mean, we’ll see what happens.”
I don’t want to believe that Yeun would try to lead fans astray with this almost gleeful attitude about a situation that comic Glenn Rhee doesn’t survive, especially when he confirmed Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan’s comments that “the season finale promises to be deep, dark, and devastating.”
While I personally still have doubts about Glenn outliving this season, I’d say that if we take Steven Yeun’s words to heart, it may be time to start considering who else could be the first to meet Negan’s bat (that [which?] he so lovingly calls “Lucille”). After “Not Tomorrow Yet” and “The Same Boat”, my first guesses are Carol and Daryl.
Do you think we should put much weight behind Steven Yeun’s words, or do you think The Walking Dead is just trying to throw us off? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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