Late last year Glenn Rhee appeared to meet his end inside a mosh pit of ravenous zombies. Three episodes later it was revealed the guts we saw were from the guy on top of him, and he crawled under a dumpster while they were distracted. While some people were just happy Glenn was alive, others felt the show pulling a fake-out had cheapened the storyline. But what does Steven Yeun, the man who plays Glenn, think of the whole thing?
It shouldn’t surprise you that he was on the writers’ side, since it meant he could still have a job, but he has other reasons. Entertainment Weekly got a big block of text from him:
“Well, for me, I always believe in [showunner Scott M. Gimple], and I think Scott has a great vision for the show, is actually the right person for this job, and is maybe one of the more genius minds that I do know. And the thing that he iterated to me when he first pitched the idea, I’d never really balked on it. I was like, “Cool. Let’s make sure that we do this right.” I was all gung-ho and in for it, and whatever anybody wants to say about the execution — people might be bummed about it or be fine with it, and I have my own personal opinions about it — but the core of it all is really that we went for something, that we tried something, in a time when we’re getting drudged-down, safe versions of everything.
“We tried for something that could have been dangerous, and to some, it was. And to some, they didn’t like it, and things became polarizing to an extent for that move. But I never felt like our heart was at a place where we were trying to deceive the audience. Never were we like, “People are going to go crazy for this!” It was more just like, let’s tell this story and make it compelling and make it purposeful. Scott always brought up the point that he was trying to make the audience feel the same way as how people back in Alexandria must have felt not knowing where Glenn was. And whether the audience believes that we executed that well or not, we went for it, and even in the face of victory or failure, when you go for something, that’s all you can really hang your hat on.
“For me, when I look back on something like that, I always have faith in Scott, and I have more respect for him because he has the balls to go somewhere. You look at the state of where we’re sitting right now, in terms of film and TV, and sometimes you are kind of taught, “Hey, don’t push it too much, because people won’t watch it then, or people won’t buy it then.” That’s not what we’re here to do as storytellers and TV-makers and filmmakers and stuff like that. We’re here to affect you, and if you saw to the degree that people were affected — I think even if it was negative — it did something. And I can’t really ask for much more than that, you know?”
Those of you who want “real” character demises on this show may get their wish next Sunday.