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Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, don't read any further if you don't want to know who Negan killed, etc.
If you're anything like us, then you're probably still reeling from last night's heartwrenching episode. The Walking Dead returned for its seventh season on Sunday, and it delivered a crushing blow -- literally and figuratively. After beating Abraham Ford to death with Lucille, Negan swiftly and decisively murdered Glenn Rhee in cold blood to punish a violent outburst by Daryl Dixon. It was brutal, but according to Steven Yeun, it needed to go down that way. Yeun explained:
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. And when you read that comic, you kind of don't want that to go to anyone else. It's such an iconic moment. I think I even said that, 'Don't let that go to anyone else.' It's such a gnarly thing to say. Living that out was very wild but at the same time that moment happening and being realized on television-- to do it the way we did it-- I think, was brave and super effecting. For me that was motivation to be like, 'Yeah, that sounds great.'
While reflecting on the devastating Season 7 premiere during an appearance on Talking Dead, Steve Yeun explained that while Glenn's grisly demise was heart wrenching, it was also necessary. The gruesome death at the hands of Negan rightfully belonged to Glenn, and Yeun never really thought twice about whether or not he wanted it. He even vocally fought for the scene once the writers knew that Negan was going to kill someone. It was powerful, and hard to watch, but that made it fulfilling for him as an actor.
He is most certainly not wrong in his assessment of the episode. Despite the fact that many people have lashed out against the death for its gratuity, the fact remains that the death really does belong to Glenn in the comics. The way it played out in the episode was incredibly faithful to the way in which Glenn actually died in Robert Kirkman's graphic novel, and as such it's hard to argue that anyone else could've taken the death. As soon as Negan entered The Walking Dead universe, Glenn was pretty much on borrowed time.
With Glenn now very dead, pretty much all bets are off when it comes to the rest of Rick Grimes' group. We have a feeling that it's only a matter of time until another one of these survivors bites the dust. The Walking Dead airs every Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. For now, make sure to check out our fall TV premiere guide and fill out your television viewing schedules accordingly!