Why "The Walking Dead"’s Biggest Mistake Was Killing Off Glenn Rhee

The show might as well have died right beside him.

The life of a beloved “The Walking Dead” character came to a tragic end in the season seven premiere. And as a lover of the show, Glenn Rhee’s death has caused the show to lose its appeal.

But I’m not the only one. The show has dropped in both viewers and ratings since Glenn’s brutal demise.

In the comic books written by Robert Kirkman, Glenn faces almost the exact same fate. Almost.

Comic!Glenn is killed at the hands of Negan, and is picked at random via “eeny, meeny, miny, moe”; due to the fact that Negan cannot decide who he wants to kill. The lineup in the comics is much smaller. Negan is not fond of killing women or children. He claims he cannot “choose” Glenn, Michonne, or Heath because he isn’t a racist, nor does he want to come off as one.

In the show, Negan picks Abraham Ford via “eeny, meeny, miny, moe”, with Glenn being killed by Negan soon after due to Daryl Dixon disobeying Negan’s rules. In this case, Glenn is not picked at random, he is picked by choice.

Which brings the question, is Negan a racist in the show? Or is Glenn killed second by Negan due to the show writers’ blatant racism?

Glenn’s death in the show is much more brutal than Abraham’s, even though they are both killed in the exact same way. Even if the writers were trying to follow the comics with Glenn’s gory demise, wouldn’t they do the same for Abraham? Glenn’s blunt force trauma to the head is evident — you can see the dent in his head/skull, his eye is coming out of its socket, and blood is practically pouring from his head. Abraham is bleeding from his head after he takes the hit from Lucille, but that’s all there is to it. No incredible gore, broken words, or sounds of suffering. Negan purposefully pauses while Glenn is dying, mocking the way he looks and sounds, allowing Glenn to suffer further before Glenn actually dies. But he does not mock Abraham’s last words until after Abraham is already dead.

The gore in Abraham’s death is only shown after he’s already dead, with his head smashed into the the gravely ground. Glenn’s death is gory from start to finish, seeing a puddle of his blood with his eyes, teeth, and remnants of his face in it. Even when Glenn is already dead, his hands are shown shaking.

If the writers wanted to follow the comics so closely, why didn’t they give Glenn his exact demise in the comics, rather than his death being used for shock value due to Daryl’s mistake? Why didn’t Abraham fall victim to Daryl’s mistake instead?

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