Long before The Walking Dead community began mourning the end of Carl Grimes, fans of AMC’s flagship zombie drama were left shell-shocked by the sudden (and brutal!) death of Glenn Rhee, who had been a staunch, loyal member of Rick’s ragtag crew from the off.
Killed at the hands of Negan – ditto for Abraham, sadly – Glenn’s demise was difficult to swallow, and after a full season-and-a-half worth of drama, The Walking Dead viewers are slowly beginning to acclimate to life without Glenn. Only for Carl to be left on the brink following a nasty walker bite.
But death is a part of life, and after eight long seasons, it’s very much a cornerstone of The Walking Dead‘s appeal, even if fans don’t like to admit it. As for life on the other side, Steven Yeun (Glenn) recently opened up about his departure in a candid interview with Variety.
You realize when you are lucky enough to play somebody else and lucky enough to be I guess coached in the right way or have a great experience like something like this it unlocks other portions of who you are and you get deeper, you get wider, you get, hopefully, wiser. But those are those experiences now that, seven years on a TV show was fantastic and I was also, it was naturally my exit. And to come into something like this, to come into the other projects I’ve come into, has been really, really great for me.
Leading up to his last hurrah, Yeun had been pretty vocal about his on-set experience, and how family is the glue which holds The Walking Dead together. It’s a belief he still holds to this day, and though he was initially bummed out about Glenn’s on-screen demise, “something needed to happen” in order to transition TWD from season 7 to 8:
It’s hard to leave family after seven years of being together but also it feels very complete. Something needed to happen to propel this next season. It’s been over a year and everybody is still so cool. They’re so sweet and they’re very sad about the death but that’s awesome. I think the coolest part about the death in and of itself is, I don’t know if there’s ever been a character like Genn before in any facet, in the way he walks and the way he talks…to have died and to have in death such a lasting impact. I think it’s like awesome. I think if Glenn were to continue, he could at some point fade into the back but there’s this great explanation point.
Speaking of which, The Walking Dead will be back on our screens in little over four weeks’ time, as AMC has scheduled its mid-season premiere for February 25th. And it seems the clock is ticking for young Carl Grimes.