Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “The Walking Dead” season seven premiere
“The Walking Dead” offered a few surprises Sunday night in a heart-wrenching season seven premiere. Not only did the show kill off one beloved character on the series, but it departed from the comics in a surprise second kill.
Last chance to head back before spoilers.
While the cast has had to keep the deaths of Abraham and Glenn secret for some time, “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and the series showrunner Scott Gimple told fans Sunday evening they knew who would be killed for years.
“It was a good while,” said Gimple during “The Talking Dead” aftershow.
“How many years was it, two?” Kirkman asked.
“It was definitely inside two years,” said Gimple. “Though there were little ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ sort of pockets that could delay or accelerate stuff.”
Gimple went on to explain that the season seven premiere was all about breaking Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) the leader of the survivors fans have been following faithfully for six seasons.
“I think the hardest thing about it was thinking about, when starting the script, what would break Rick?” Gimple said. “It was all in the book, in issue #100, but [we were] looking for a way to break the audience too — not in a way that is in any way to hurt them, but for them to believe that Rick Grimes would be under the thumb of Negan. That he would go through an experience that would do that to him that the audience would go through the experience too so that they would believe that Rick could do what this guy says.”
We’re used to seeing this man, someone who previously has acknowledged that they should be feared and shouldn’t be messed with, literally meet his match and possibly moreso in Negan and the Saviors as they killed two of their men, kidnapped Daryl, and nearly forced Rick to chop off his own son’s arm.
If that’s not enough to break a man, I don’t know what is.
Speaking of Carl’s arm, “The Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick also asked if they considered actually cutting it off.
In the past, Robert Kirkman has said that taking off Rick’s hand (something which occurs in the comics) would pose a physical challenge to the show, but on the aftershow he seemed more open to the possibility of taking off his son’s limb.
“There were a lot of variations of that that were discussed,” said Kirkman. “We’re not ruling it out for the future.”
Of course, Kirkman famously loves to joke with his fans so you should probably take that with a grain of salt.
He became more serious for a moment:
“I think more than anything, the introduction of Negan, as heartbreaking as it is and how gut-wrenching as it is, was really just to set the stage in a way of saying this show, this story isn’t going anywhere. We still have a lot more to do. We’re setting the stage for a lot more to come. There’s so much that comes out of this scene that has to be resolved,” he continued. “We feel like after as many years as we’ve been doing this we just wanted to send a clear message that we are just getting started and there is a lot that’s going to be coming from this.”
So rest assured, Rick and Carl’s arms are safe for the time being. They have a lot of other healing to do for the time being.
We’ll have more on “The Walking Dead” premiere Monday afternoon.
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