‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Explains Why Negan’s Victim Had to Die

“It’s tough but we gotta do what we gotta do,” Kirkman says

walking dead negan lineup
Gene Page/AMC

(Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead”)

“The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman is no stranger to killing off characters, but the death of a major character in the Season 7 premiere that has rankled fans had to happen.

“It’s just that there’s a lot of material that comes from Glenn’s death in the comics,” Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly. “So it was kind of essential that that part of the scene at least remained intact, unfortunately.”

Both Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) were murdered by Negan with his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille. Glenn was the only character to die in the scene in the comics and according to Kirkman, he and the show’s producers did discuss alternatives.

“We did discuss options,” he said. “At the end of the day, we were like, pulling the thread on this sweater just pulls too many things apart and it’s too difficult to get back on that trajectory without that death.”

But according to Kirkman, it has gotten harder and harder to kill off characters as he has gotten to know the actors who play them.

“I just push through it and stay the course, but I do find myself very hesitant to do character deaths on the show,” he said. “Especially these days, just because you miss these people and it’s just not a fun process. But it’s something that we all agree the story needs, and it definitely makes the show better and it makes things heightened and cool. It’s tough but we gotta do what we gotta do.”