Did ‘The Walking Dead’ just ‘Jon Snow’ one of its original characters?
Spoilers to follow for latest episode of “The Walking Dead” as well as the season five finale of “Game of Thrones.”
Television fans were shocked at the conclusion of Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” when Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), just the second series regular introduced in the show’s pilot nearly five years ago, appeared to be torn to pieces by a zombie horde.
However, fans are suspicious that the character is gone for good and are amassing evidence to support their theories. Foremost in their argument is the fact that Yeun did not appear on the episode of “Talking Dead,” a post-“Walking Dead” discussion show hosted by Chris Hardwick, as is tradition for characters who are killed off of the show.
Additionally, during “Talking Dead’s” “In Memoriam” section, during which Hardwick recognizes all of the characters, zombies included, killed in the episode, Rhee was notably absent and in his place, a graphic repeating “Please don’t let this be true” aired.
Further, in a statement read by Hardwick during the show, showrunner Scott M. Gimple had the following to say: “Dear fans of ‘The Walking Dead,’ this is a hard story to tell and when we were planning to tell, we knew our friends at the ‘Talking Dead’ would be talking to you about it and knowing you’d all be talking, and feeling and commiserating, I knew we should say something about it lest our silence say something we didn’t mean to say or not say. So I’ll say this: 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.”
If the clamor surrounding a beloved character’s death seems familiar, it’s because the same frantic theorizing took place after “Mother’s Mercy,” the season five finale of “Game of Thrones,” when Jon Snow appeared to be murdered. Fans were certain that this couldn’t be the end of Snow’s story and persist to believe that he’ll find second life somehow, a not wholly unreasonable thought, given the show’s universe. However, the show’s producers continue to insist that Snow is dead. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo went so far as to say at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in July, “Dead is dead is dead is dead. He be dead.”
Only time will tell if the same holds true for Glenn Rhee.
Follow me on Twitter at @midwestspitfire.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.