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Why Did Fear The Walking Dead Remove One Star From Season 7's Opening Credits?

althea holding a gun on fear the walking dead season 7
(Image credit: AMC)

Some spoilers below for Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 7 premiere, so be warned!

Fear the Walking Dead is no stranger to saying goodbye to certain characters, but it’s also a series that tends to make it pretty clear when someone is leaving the show. Usually by way of a horrifying death scene or...well, it’s almost always the death scene. Season 7’s premiere was entirely focused on the Tower-iffic evolution of Colman Domingo’s Victor Strand, as well as the connection Gus Halper’s short-lived Will had with Alicia, and so no other characters popped up during the episode. But the show’s creative team mysteriously went a bit further and completely removed one star’s name from the credits that follow the opening title sequence. So what happened to Maggie Grace?

Fans haven’t had eyes on Maggie Grace’s Althea since Season 6 Episode 11, titled “The Holding,” in which she struck off to send a warning about the nuke-happy serial killer Teddy to her CRM sweetheart Isabelle, as portrayed by Sydney Lemmon. Her voice came through in the Season 6 finale to alert others of helicopter help, so fans expected to see her again in Season 7, but the removal of her name from the credits is not normally a good sign of anything. 

So what’s the deal here? Given the particulars of the Walking Dead franchise as a whole, there are basically two assumptions that fans can make here.  

1. Althea Was Killed Off

Despite hearing her in the Season 6 finale, it’s not all that wild to consider that Althea might have been killed off in the nuclear blasts that killed off Teddy himself. (As well as the flip-flopping Dakota.) Or that she fell prey to irradiated walkers in the aftermath. Even though, again, this show is usually very up front about delivering ghoulish visuals for when main characters are killed off. (See: Garret Dillahunt’s John Dorie.) 

Oh, and then there’s the actual PROOF that Althea wasn’t killed off. AMC released images from upcoming episodes, and Maggie Grace is on full display in some of them. This could technically be flashback eps that could show her potentially dying at some point along the way, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, as things look like they’re happening in a post-fallout Texas. 

2. Maggie Grace Is No Longer Part Of The Regular Cast

The second option hearkens back to how The Walking Dead removed Steven Yeun’s name from its opening credits after the Glenn-gate episode in which it appeared that the fan-favorite character had been killed off by walkers, only for him to later return with the explanation that he’d slipped beneath a dumpster for safety.  Which was then followed relatively soon after by him getting his head bludgeoned by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan. So is Maggie Grace’s absence in the credits foreshadowing that she will be killed off later on, after Althea appears in a minimal number of episodes?

It was a year ago in October 2020 when Maggie Grace revealed she’d had her first child with hubby Brent Bushnell. So by all means, the actress might have requested a more limited role in Season 7, and perhaps beyond, so that she could spend more time with her growing family. If that sounds less plausible, consider that the entire Rick Grimes debacle came into existence because Andrew Lincoln wanted to spend more time with his family in the UK. Better to raise a child outside of this environment than smack in the middle of it, Morgan and Grace...

This situation is also uniquely curious since Alycia Debnam-Carey’s name has remained prominent in the credits even though her character Alicia’s screentime seemingly bottomed out in Season 6, despite being an O.G. protagonist. Hell, even Colby Hollman’s name shows up each week, and it’s never a sure thing that Wes will have anything to do with a given episode. 

So what's the deal here, Fear the Walking Dead fans? Do we think Althea and Grace's days are numbered, or was this just an odd hiccup to see if viewers noticed? Hopefully we'll get answers sooner rather than later. 

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, ahead of new episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2.

Nick Venable

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.