Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead has built much of its considerable reputation on being a show that will flat-out murder characters without warning or apology. We’ve seen it season after season now, but during last Sunday’s episode, “Thank You,” the show may have delivered its most shocking death yet…unless it didn’t.
The finale of “Thank You” featured Glenn (Stephen Yeun) and Nicholas (Michael Traynor) surrounded by Walkers as they stood atop a dumpster trying to fend off a herd. Nicholas, who already had a reputation for putting others in danger, lost his mind and blew his brains out, sending both his body and Glenn tumbling down into the mass of zombies, where the Walkers began to eagerly tear away at human flesh. The final shot, of Walkers surrounding Nicholas and Glenn, suggesting that they were both dead, thus closing out the run of one of the show’s original characters. But is that what really happened?
As Vulture points out in its shot-by-shot breakdown of the scene, the Walkers only seem to be ripping at Nicholas’ lifeless body, not at Glenn’s live one, which is underneath it. As we’ve seen on The Walking Dead before, if you can cover yourself in enough rotting goop, you can pass yourself off as a Walker for a while, so maybe Glenn was able to play dead long enough to escape. Then, there are the set photos that surfaced today which seem to show a very-much-alive Glenn ready to shoot new scenes. At this point, Sunday’s episode aside, there seems to be more evidence for an Alive Glenn than a Dead One, but with this show, who knows?