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Was The Walking Dead's Shocking Death Actually A Big Lie?

Spoilers for The Walking Dead’s “Thank You” below. Be warned.

If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, there’s a good chance you’re still glaring at your TV and wondering just what in the hell was going on in the minds of showrunner Scott Gimple and comic creator Robert Kirkman that they would deliver a shock as big as Glenn’s death so early into Season 6. It certainly proves that no one is safe – well, except for Carol, of course – but it still felt too sudden and out of place for such an important character. But what if it was all a big “gotcha” on viewers and doesn’t actually mean Glenn is dead?

Let’s take a look at the evidence.

1. Talking Dead. After The Walking Dead wrapped up, Chris Hardwick took to the airwaves with Yvette Nicole Brown and Damon Lindelof, and we got two moments that led us to suspect that Glenn might not be dead at all. The first came during the usual “In Memoriam” segment, in which respects are paid to the characters who died during the night’s episode. Instead of seeing Glenn pop up after Nicholas shooting himself, though, it was a screen where “Please Don’t Let This Be True” was written three times. As well, Gimple sent a statement to the show where he said this.

Dear fans of The Walking Dead, this is a hard story to tell, and when we were planning to tell it, we knew our friends over at Talking Dead would be talking to you about it, and knowing you’d be talking and feeling and commiserating, I knew we should say something about it, lest our silence say something we didn’t mean to say or not say so I will say this: In some way, we will see Glenn, some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn again, either in flashback, or current story, to help complete the story.

You can read that any way you want, really. Maybe we’ll see Glenn again in a flashback that Maggie has about her lost love, or maybe we’ll see his slaughtered remains get pulled off of the street and buried, or maybe he will be his normal self again. Albeit a more harried version.

2. Steven Yeun is still being seen on set. As was noted whenever we talked about the possibility of Nicholas and Glenn being killed off, those with eyes on the Walking Dead production locations have been seeing Yeun there as much as everyone else. It makes sense that he’d be there for a certain amount of time after this “death episode,” if he’d have to film whatever post-death bits Gimple was referring to, but why would he still be there? It’s entirely possible that the creative team is running a long con on everyone, knowing that fans get spoilery access to set information, and they’re just keeping Yeun around to make it look like Glenn is still alive. It’s a devious move, but not a wholly unbelievable one.

3. We didn’t actually see Glenn die. If you’re going to prove that there’s been a death, the best possible evidence is a dead body, and we didn’t really see Glenn die. We saw him lying on the ground and freaking out as a bunch of guts and viscera were scooped out of a torso. But was it his torso? Nicholas likely fell on top of him, and we only saw the walkers crowded around one thing, rather than two. It would be next to impossible for Glenn to actually live through this ordeal even if he wasn’t the person being eaten up during the scene we saw, but perhaps being covered in grossness somehow made the walkers think that he was already dead and not worth chomping on. This would be an extremely cheap move, and I will be extremely pissed off if he survives by some random fluke of nature like that, but then we’d get Glenn back, so I’d forgive everyone after a while.

Killing Glenn off like this certainly explains why Kirkman previously joked about him dying the same way he did in the comics, a scene so iconic that the show almost necessarily had to change it up just to keep fans guessing. But this wasn’t the way anyone wanted to see Glenn go, so hopefully he’ll get to live another day, or plenty of days.

Find out what happens next when The Walking Dead airs a supersized episode next Sunday on AMC. Let us know what you think about Glenn’s fate below.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.