Well, here we Jon Snow again.
First, a ***Spoiler Warning: This post discusses events through TWD season 6, episode 3. If you’re not caught up, back out now.***
It looks like TWD showrunner Scott Gimple isn’t quite as adept at maintaining his poker face as the Game of Thrones gang, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad. Speaking with THR about what apparently happened to Steven Yuen’s Glenn Rhee this past Sunday, Gimple basically confirms what many of you think. Glenn most likely isn’t dead. Though he danced around some of the very direct questions, it sounds like we’re just going to be in limbo about a week — following this coming weekend’s supersized, Morgan-centric “He’s Not Here” — before we find out Glenn is either a) alive underneath Nicholas’ chewed-up body, or b) Glenn or Nicholas imagined/hallucinated what we saw in “Thank You.” The showrunner isn’t shy about defending his emotional manipulation of the series’ audience, comparing our journey to Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan), and our feelings about what Glenn’s arc might be to our acceptance of another longtime character’s storyline.
After that very ambiguous statement Gimple released to Talking Dead,
“In some way, we will see Glenn, some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn again, either in flashback or in the current story to help complete the story.”
many viewers believe Glenn did not die (his character was also omitted from TD’s “In Memoriam” segment), Gimple confirms we’ll get a definitive resolution quickly.
“[His “death” will be addressed] this half-season. I’d say sooner rather than later…People will know pretty damn quick. Even getting into the thematics, it tips it one way or the other.
We will complete the story.”
On whether some fan theories — like that we were watching Nicholas’ hallucination — could be correct:
“Some of those theories could be correct. I read all sorts of things about this, and some of it is right and some of it is wrong. But I love that people are this passionate and engaged and are looking at this like a CSI thing. It’s incredible. But back to Nicholas: He did put a gun to his head. We did hear a trigger go off and we saw a lot of blood go. I’m a lot more comfortable saying Nicholas is dead.”
***Note: Comic Spoiler, and possible show spoiler in this next quote. Skip over if you don’t want to read***
One of Gimple’s most telling comments involved the possibility that Glenn’s brush with death is just a lead-in to his comic arc. Rumor has it Negan, who in the 100th TWD issue kills Glenn, will show up toward the end of Season 6. Why fake it now, and risk possibly lessening the impact of that moment?
“That’s one of those questions that any way that I answer could spoil five different parts of the story. But I hope to show you. We will be showing it. You will be learning the answer to that question as you watch. If I were to answer it now, I would wind up revealing all sorts of stuff from different directions. The lame way of saying it is: You’ll have to see.”
This to me is stating the obvious; Glenn did not die in Sunday’s episode, but he’s on target for a future death. The fakeout will cause the audience to reevaluate and appreciate Glenn, who I think has often been dismissed as a less emotionally important character, and then (after we’ve learned he’s alive and relaxed a bit) Gimple will cruelly take him away. It’s actually a kind of genius way to kill off a “major” character, without taking away one of the core characters fans tend to be rabid over (Daryl, Carol, Rick, Michonne, Morgan).
***End Comic Spoilers***
The showrunner also spoke about how fan reaction to Carol Peltier (Melissa McBride), who some believed dead in Season 3, has evolved, noting that he doesn’t think it’s damaging to the series’ credibility to have a character return from an ambiguous fate.
“In an episode that I wrote and story I helped craft with Carol, it very much looked like Carol died in season three. She was found in a cell [in the prison]. The show wasn’t quite as big as it is now, but people went through that story and seemed like they enjoyed it. Carol went through something pretty big there. I have read comics my whole life and go to the movies and watch TV, and twists and turns are part of storytelling. I love that people are having this huge response [to Glenn]. What’s interesting to see is some of the pieces you’re talking about. But I’d encourage everyone to keep watching. I think it’s wonderful that people are speculating about the story. And why not? We have some time between the episodes [every week], but let’s watch the story and see how it turns out.”
In other words, see you soon, Glenn!
(read the full interview)