The cliffhanger to The Walking Dead season 6, and its subsequent resolution in the season 7 premiere, is still one of the most attention-grabbing moments of the whole series. Fans spent the entire summer wondering who would die by violently meeting the business end of Negan’s trusty baseball bat Lucille.
As you’ll no doubt know, it was ultimately revealed that Glenn and Abraham were tragically taken out by the villain, but in order to keep this highly-scrutinized event a secret, the production team filmed several different versions of Negan’s execution. Fans might remember that an image of Maggie as one of his victims leaked online prior to the premiere’s release – something that turned out to be fake once the episode aired.
While speaking at a Q&A panel during this weekend’s Fandemic Tour Sacramento, former The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs was asked if he knew the identity of who was going to die before filming. He revealed that none of the cast did, as there were multiple scripted versions of the scene in which other characters such as Aaron, Eugene and, yes, Maggie kicked the bucket instead.
“I didn’t know, no. When I read the script is when I found out. Actually, when we got the script, there was three different versions, and three different versions that we shot. Versions where Glenn and Abraham died, and then another version where Maggie and Aaron died, and another one where Aaron and Eugene died.”
Riggs went on to say that, with the benefit of hindsight, it was obvious which one was the actual sequence, as the others were less intense than the fake versions. However, at the time, it was not revealed to the cast which one was the real deal.
“It’s like, three different versions that we had filmed. Obviously, those versions weren’t as intense and as thorough as the real ones — even so, only the editors knew which one was the real one and the actors and crew and whatnot, and not, like, everyone in post-production, like it usually is.”
Of course, just one season later, Riggs was the subject of his own shock death on the show. In the season 8 midseason finale, it was revealed that Carl Grimes was dying from a walker bite. His on-screen dad will soon follow in his footsteps, too, as Andrew Lincoln is set to vacate The Walking Dead when the zombie drama returns to AMC later this year.