In the letter hacks for issue #154 of The Walking Dead comic series, Robert Kirkman addressed the controversial sixth-season finale of the television series.
He’s super sorry.
A couple of points to make here: 1) “Some people love it”? No. Zero people loved it. No one. Not one soul thought, “Cool! We’re not going to find out who Negan killed for six months! That means that Glenn or Maggie or Daryl will get to live on in my mind!” It’s like saying, “Seven members of your family are on life support, and we’re gonna pull the plug on one, but we’re not going to tell you which one*! In the meantime, you won’t be able to see any of these family members until October.”
(*It’s not really like that at all, because The Walking Dead is a TV Show).
However, given the difference between the way Kirkman presented the death-by-Lucille in the comics and the way it was presented on the series, it was almost certainly foisted upon him by AMC and/or showrunner Scott Gimple. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest as much, particularly the contradictory statements from the cast and crew over who knew — and who didn’t know — which character would take the beating. While Greg Nicotero claims that none of the cast knew who would die, both Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln implied months ago that they did know, and Norman Reedus confessed — inadvertently or not — that he also knew, only two days after Nicotero said no one knew. Hell, even Tyler James Williams — who played Noah on the series — knew who would die, and he hasn’t been on the series in a year.
It seems likely that someone decided, in the weeks before the finale aired, to transform it into a cliffhanger, which was a terrible miscalculation for a series that, up until this season, had done a fairly good job of not pissing off its fanbase.
It may also doubly backfire, because after six months of hype and speculation, the series is faced with an almost impossible task of creating an episode that is not anticlimactic, which some (and by “some,” I mean “me”) argue is what happened on Game of Thrones.