Several of the cast and crew from The Walking Dead were on hand to field questions from the audience about the upcoming season, and Steven Yeun had a rather peculiar response.
Be forewarned— potential TV spoilers are ahead, as are major comic spoilers.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for Season 7 of The Walking Dead yet, do that now. It’s amazing, but horrifying at the same time, as it prepares us to expect the exit of a major character from the series thanks to Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan.
While we don’t know for sure who will be revealed to be the one killed by Negan on the TV series, we have a pretty good idea if the comics are any indication. In issue 100 of the comic series, Negan is introduced in a very similar fashion, ultimately picking Glenn to be the one whose brains are bashed into the pavement to teach the entire group a lesson.
The show does like to change things up sometimes, as it was Abraham who took an arrow through the brain in the comics, compared to the doctor Denise on the show. But showrunner Scott M. Gimple does seem to want to keep the TV series as close to the comics as possible, so Glenn perhaps is in greater danger than any of the other ten possible victims. The Denise/Abraham swap could’ve been done just to make Glenn’s death less obvious.
Because of this, moderator Chris Hardwick asked Steven Yeun during the Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic Con how he felt about his possible death on the show, and his response was… interesting. Go ahead and take a look at it below:
In the clip, Yeun recalls his experience first learning about his character’s demise in the comics, and what it possibly meant for his fate on the show. He described it as an “Oh, crap” moment before then praising it as “awesome”. While not directly answering whether it was Glenn that dies, Yeun said that to just be a “participant” in the iconic scene was great, and that as a fan, he’s excited to just see how this event will “thrust the show even further”.
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He could be just trying to be very careful with his words, but it sort of comes across as a graceful way of saying he’s OK with being killed off. The answer is reminiscent of some of the things former cast members of the show said about their characters when it came time for them to leave, such as Sarah Wayne Callies calling Lori’s demise “necessary” and Laurie Holden saying Andrea’s death was the right call as it “does propel story forward”.
But what really caught my attention was how seemingly distraught Yeun is when explaining his answer. He’s shaking heavily and it appears as if he’s struggling to keep the tears from welling up in his eyes. It’s very possible that he was emotional over one of his friends leaving the show, but it seems to me that he’s quite a bit more somber than I’ve ever seen him in any other interviews.
The bonus is that Chandler Riggs seems kind of sad himself listening to Yeun talk about Glenn’s possible death, making me wonder if that’s really what happened and everyone’s having a hard time keeping their emotions over it contained.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this. But I was just watching the highlights from the Walking Dead panel at SDCC and Yeun’s answer here just seemed very unusual to me. I hope I’m wrong, as I truly want to be surprised and I’m not ready yet for Yeun to leave the show.
But if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Glenn.