Not one but two major cast members were killed off during the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday night (23Oct16).
The season six finale of the zombie drama ended with new villain Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, bludgeoning a member of Rick’s crew to death from the victim’s point of view, so the audience had to wait until season seven to find out who came to their bloody end.
During the promotion for the season opener, fans were invited to guess who Negan’s victim was, but during the episode it was revealed he claimed the lives of two with his bat – original cast member Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, and Michael Cudlitz, who has played Abraham since season four – in the show’s typically graphic fashion.
The two cast members appeared on a special live episode of show analysis programme Talking Dead, which took place at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Yeun revealed he had known for about a year about his alter ego’s demise, and told the producers, who sometimes change events from the comic book series, he wanted Glenn’s death to stay loyal to the source material.
“(Comic book writer) Robert (Kirkman) wrote such a messed up and incredible way to take something away to make a story as impactful as it is and when you read that comic, you kinda don’t want that to go to anyone else. It’s such an iconic moment.”
“Living that out was very wild but at the same time, that moment happening and being realised on television in a different medium and to do it in the way that we did it is brave and at the same time super-affecting and that for me was motivation.”
Cudlitz knew he was on borrowed time because his character had died earlier in the comics and he was glad Abraham at least got to say one last quip “suck my n**s!”
“I thought it was awesome,” Cudlitz said. “I think it’s very, very appropriate for him to go out that way.”