After a lengthy wait, “The Walking Dead” finally returned to AMC for its Season 7 premiere on Sunday, which resolved the “Who did Negan kill?” cliffhanger.
(Spoiler alert! This article contains major plot details from the episode).
In a shocking twist, Negan killed two members of Rick’s group. The first of his victims (and the one whose perspective fans saw at the end of Season 6) turned out to be Abraham Ford, who was played by Michael Cudlitz
On Sunday night’s “Talking Dead,” Michael addressed his character’s exit, noting that in the graphic novels, Abraham was killed earlier on.
“For anyone who follows the graphic novel, he was on borrowed time,” the actor told “Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick, before mentioning Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) got Abraham’s graphic novel death two episodes earlier. (Denise was killed by Dwight, with a crossbow, in Season 6.)
“So, I think at that point I knew I had sort of gone beyond where he was in the graphic novel. I knew that Mr. [Robert] Kirkman had always said he was not happy with how he took Abraham out in the graphic novel, so I was curious to see where it would go from there,” Michael continued. “And yeah, I think that … in the group, you know, he made it very clear I think to Negan, that if you were gonna take somebody, take me — if it’s going to help protect the rest of the group.”
And, in a twist, Negan also used his baseball bat covered in barbed wire to kill Glenn (the character was also killed in issue 100 of the graphic novel series in the same way).
“Personally, for me, I think the death in the comic — Robert wrote such a messed up, but at the time, incredible way to take something away — to make a story as impactful as it is,” Steven said on “Talking Dead.” “And when you read that comic, you kind of don’t want that to go to anyone else. It’s such an iconic moment and … I think I even said that. I was like, ‘Don’t give that [death] to anybody else.’ It’s such a gnarly thing to say, but sincerely, living that out was very wild, but at the same time, that moment happening and being realized on television, in a different medium, and to do it in the way that we did it, I think is brave, and at the same time, super affecting. And that’s — for me, that was the motivation to be like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great.'”
Asked if he had time to process or grieve the loss of playing Glenn, Steven said that in order to get through the lead up to the premiere, he turned to the support of his co-stars and his wife.
“It came with its own set of difficulties, I think. Going into it there was excitement in the sense of when you know something somebody else doesn’t know, you’re like, ‘Yeah … This stuff is cool.’ And then, after awhile you’re like, ‘I don’t like knowing this by myself.’ And then you just dive into a hole after a while because you’re not allowed to say anything,” he said. “But I’m very lucky to have my cast mates and my friends here to bounce my feelings off, or however I’m processing things, but at the same time, you know I had my support. My beautiful wife Jo, she was always there to support me in the way that I would get in my head of like, I just want people to know what I know and you kind of get insane about it.”
— Jolie Lash