The long-awaited villian Negan finally claimed his first victims among The Walking Dead’s cast on Sunday night with the premiere episode of the show’s seventh season. Things could have gone a lot differently, though, as an unused leaked scene revealed.
In the episode, both Abraham, who’s been on the show a few seasons, and Glenn, one of the last remaining characters from season 1, ate the end of Negan’s barbed bat, Lucille. But in the leaked scene, it’s Maggie, Glenn’s pregnant wife, who gets it.
Negan kills Glenn under similar circumstances in the Walking Dead comic book’s 100th issue, so many viewers were expecting that. Abraham’s death was mostly a red herring to make fans briefly think Glenn was safe. Now, in both the books and the show, Maggie is still alive, while Glenn is sadly gone.
The Hollywood Reporter said earlier this year that The Walking Dead had filmed a whopping 11 different versions of this pivotal scene to—among other reasons, to help deflect leaks and keep Negan’s victim(s) a secret. Personally, I thought that was BS—the resources required to shoot 11 different versions of an emotionally and physically taxing scene like this seemed preposterous—but looks like I and other doubters were wrong.
We saw other characters’ deaths play out during the episode as Rick imagined what might happen if he kept fighting Negan, and based on this leak it seems alternate versions of the death went even further in editing. You have to wonder how close they came to actually using another take. Could Glenn have lived after all?
That would have set the show on a much different path; with Maggie and her unborn child still in the mix, there’s at least some hope for humanity’s future. Not that the show hasn’t diverged plenty from the books, but I for one am OK with this version—though maybe that’s just because I came to terms with it years ago.