Two sides of Glenn’s fate: What if he…? (The Walking Dead)


Warning: Contains spoilers to the Walking Dead Episode titled “Thank You.”

It’s been almost two weeks since Glenn’s apparent demise and everyone is still on the edge of their seats. And instead of a resolution, we were treated with a backstory of Morgan the following episode and how he attained his skills with a staff. The internet is almost split in half with Glenn being alive or dead, and only an upcoming episode of The Walking Dead can resolve this debate. Despite fans wanting to know if Glenn has in fact survived or perished, the path beyond his fate leaves us with more questions than answers.

What if Glenn survives?

If Glenn does in fact survive the horde of walkers, then he will be able to fulfill his comic fate at the hands of Negan. The problem with that is the near indestructible character that Glenn has become. By the time Glenn dies in the comic, Season 3 hasn’t started yet. And from there the producers have had a great time putting him into risky situations. He’s been kidnapped and killed a walker while strapped to a chair, survived a plague that has killed many, escaped the walker infested prison with riot gear, fought through a tunnel of walkers, was almost killed and bled dry from the cannibals, was shot and had walkers thrown on top of him, and now survived a horde of walkers with only a corpse as protection. It’s almost as if the suspense of Glenn’s death has been spoiled by the comic and makes him untouchable. Moving forward with Glenn’s survival can only tell us that either a) the producers really want to change from the comics and even have Glenn survive Negan’s encounter, or b) they’ll follow the line of the comic and kill Glenn later. The importance of Glenn surviving though isn’t so much as who kills him, but who’s defined after his death. Not only does it push Rick over the edge and wants to ensure the Saviors are stopped, but it also defines the leader that Maggie becomes having witnessed the father of her child die in front of her. It’s the anger she gains toward Rick for not stopping Negan, what drives her to eventually convince the people of the Hilltop Colony to fight against the Saviors and even go as far as remove their leader and lead the group herself. Turn his death into just another walker casualty and you end up with a heart broken person instead with no true motive at stopping the Saviors.


What if Glenn dies?

Despite the overwhelming evidence, this is unfortunately the most likely scenario. The fact that Glenn survived this long with many near-death scenarios in his way, this death would be the most shocking. When Negan arrived, Glenn’s death was shocking which The Walking Dead comic reset what to expect and reminded readers that no one is safe. Only 2 issues prior saw Abraham’s death and now a key member, someone who has survived since the comic started, is now gone. This scenario will really set itself apart from the comic in a big way, even bigger than how it separated itself from the Prison story arch. Who will replace Glenn when Negan arrives? His impact will have to be huge being as he executes a member of Rick’s team, while even teasing how he can’t kill Rick himself. No other character can fill Glenn’s shoes that is still alive in the comic, but so far the show hasn’t truly matched the death and survival of certain characters. Comparing the TV deaths to the comic: Shane was killed late, Dale died early, both Sophia and Andrea have died while still alive in the comic, and Andrea being a key character and even love interest to Rick. Carol is still alive, but dies before the war for the prison, Hershel replaces Tyrese’s comic death and Tyrese survives longer than his comic counterpart. Bob even replaces Dale in his death scene, having his leg being eaten by the cannibals. All this does is tell us that the producers are willing to experiment as long as it fits their plan. Glenn’s death would make sense now since his upcoming demise is already expected by every fan. Killing him sooner really shocked fans and nearly broke the internet soon afterwards. It did what the comic did when readers first peered their eyes at Lucille being pointed in his direction.


If Glenn were to die, his loss would be mourned by everyone, even by  fans. Not many could fit the bill for Negan to choose, and hopefully that event isn’t wasted with just a random Alexandria resident, giving it much less of an impact. Negan is a ruthless leader and it’s almost necessary to not change his arrival in any way. But by killing Glenn now, the producers just found a way to create another shocking event, something that no one will see coming. That’s what so far has made The Walking Dead a huge hit, the ability to keep viewers on the edge of their seat knowing that one day their fan favorite can take the hit. The hit now being Negan swinging Lucille, but who’s death can cause the biggest shock none of us will see coming? The same way we all dropped our jaws watching Glenn fall into the horde of walkers? For now, we patiently wait until the dust settles and Glenn appears back on screen alive or as a walker.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.