Spoiler alert: if you haven’t yet watched last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, we suggest you do so immediately before reading on.
Those who did sit through the agonizing hour were likely left with a sinking feel in their guts due to the presumed death of a leading character, as well as the uncertainty that surrounded it: After a cowardly exit by Nicholas, one of the shows most integral characters, Glenn, was left for dead to a horde of walkers, screaming and crying as they moved in for lunch.
But unlike other leading characters (Shane, Lori, Merle – the list goes on), this latest death is more ambiguous, resulting in super-fans searing over whether The Walking Dead is just trying to pull a fast one on us. As such, here are 5 theories as to why Glenn may actually not have met his untimely demise … yet. (Again, there are loads of spoilers below.)
1) Nicholas fell on top of Glenn
Keen-eyed viewers will note that Nicholas fell on top of Glenn as they dropped from the dumpster they were standing on. Thus, his body could have served as a protective shield for Glenn’s. Sure, we see tons of innards and blood and guts being devoured by the hungry walkers, but those could have just been Nicholas’. Could one of the others in the group, or something else, draw the walkers away, leaving Glenn an opportunity to escape before they eat through Nicholas? After all, we see Glenn’s head fully in tact as he screams in horror. And remember, when a human is covered in walker blood and guts, the walkers often don’t realize it’s a human. So it is feasible that Glenn could escape should someone – or something – come to his rescue before he becomes walker lunch.
2) It’s far too simple a death for such a big character
Hershel went out in a blaze of glory after a sick beheading at the hands of the Governor. Beth was carried out of a hospital by a distraught Daryl in a truly heartfelt sendoff. Almost half of an episode was dedicated to Tyrese going in and out of consciousness and coming to terms with his life before his death. It would be unlike the show creators to kill off a character who has been on the show since season one go out in such a simple way. That’s especially true when you consider that Glenn’s death is one of the most shocking ones in the comics (at the hands of Negan from The Wolves). Would they really let Glenn go out as the result of a moron to whom he was giving a second chance? It seems too unresolved. That isn’t to say that Glenn won’t die, but maybe not yet.
3) Scott M. Gimple says we’ll see Glenn again
Writer, producer, and showrunner from The Walking Dead, Scott M. Gimple, released a statement on Talking Dead, a one-hour talk show that runs after every episode, indicating that we would see Glenn again in the next episode. But the statement was purposely vague, noting that we would see “some version of him” or “parts of him” in flashback or the current story. Gimple does say that, however Glenn appears, it will help to “complete the story.” So chances are Glenn will meet his demise soon, but fans can rest assured that they’ll get to see his face one more time — hopefully, it won’t be in zombie form.
4) Talking Dead in memorium did not include him
Anyone who watches Talking Dead after each episode knows that the “in memorium” segment is pretty comprehensive, paying tribute to every person (or non-person) we lost that week. And when it’s a main character, the bit usually ends with a eulogy-like quote of some sort to honor them. This week, Glenn was not included. Whether he’s dead or not, there’s a clear reason the show wants to leave us hanging on the issue.
5) Spoiling Dead Fans have seen actor Steven Yuen on set
A group of super-fans calling themselves Spoiling Dead have reportedly spotted the actor who plays Glenn, Steven Yuen, on set, with characters who haven’t yet been introduced. Of course, this could mean a number of things, including flashbacks. Or are the producers are intentionally trying to throw viewers off?
Whatever the case, fans will be spending the next week wondering and arguing over whether Glenn is dead or alive. That’s surely great TV, however things end up.