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Some Walking Dead Fans Think Glenn Should Have Died Sooner

Fans of Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" comics knew Glenn's (Steven Yeun) death on the hit AMC series was inevitable. Issue No. 100 marked the end for the character in the pages of "TWD," but the television show tried to pull a fast one on its devoted audience. In Season 6, Episode 3's "Thank You," Glenn appears to meet his demise much differently than he did at the hands of Negan in the source material. Instead, Glenn simply falls off the top of a dumpster after Nicholas (Michael Traynor) shoots himself in the head.

The momentum of Nicholas' lifeless body forces Glenn into the grasp of dozens of zombies, and it appears the ravenous walkers tear Glenn to shreds, while feeding on his entrails like they were sausage casings. Turns out it was Nicholas being eaten, though, and Glenn managed to hide under the dumpster until Episode 7's "Heads Up." The misdirect could have been a brilliant stroke of genius on the part of Season 6's showrunner, Scott Gimple. Unfortunately, Gimple didn't have the courage to radically alter Glenn's death, and some fans actually think Glenn's departure would have been more fitting had he not survived the dumpster incident.

"Glenn should have died at the dumpster," u/Jon_Jraper posted on Reddit. "It would have been a more unique death, considering every other main character died with witnesses or at least others finding the walker-version." Indeed, Glenn's unconfirmed death at the dumpster could have made the show more compelling.

Repercussions of Glenn's death

An unpopular opinion post suggests that Glenn should have been torn apart by those zombies from the "Thank You" dumpster scene — rather than having his head bashed in by Negan in Season 7, Episode 1's "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be." "It also would have made Negan's lineup more suspenseful, because with Glenn still alive, they needed it to be him or it would have been seen as a cop-out," Redditor u/Jon_Jraper wrote.

u/Jon_Jraper refers to Season 6's cliffhanger finale, "Last Day on Earth," in which Negan bludgeoned to death an unknown member of Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) group with his barbwire bat, Lucille. The Season 7 premiere finally satiated the suspense and revealed the victim as Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) not Glenn! It seemed Glenn might actually escape death for a second time, but Negan crushed in his skull after Daryl (Norman Reedus) had the temerity to punch the leader of the Saviors once Abraham was slain.

"Abraham's death would have meant more," u/Jon_Jraper continued. Had Season 6's showrunner, Scott Gimple, allowed Glenn to die at the dumpster, "The Walking Dead" might have evolved beyond just its predictable plot point of Negan and Glenn's comic book encounter. "It makes NO SENSE that he actually survived what happened at the dumpster," u/mightdevouryoursoul agreed. "It's a miracle that he lived, then, whaddya know, the guy gets killed by Lucille." And if Glenn died earlier, it could have radically shaken up "TWD."

Negan killed Glenn not the dumpster walkers

Glenn's slaying altered the course of "The Walking Dead" storylines moving forward, and the demise of Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) husband, left her an emotional wreck. "If we watched Glenn die at the dumpster, and then saw Maggie's leadership arc occur while having to accept Glenn's unconfirmed [to them] death, and simultaneously Abraham's death would have been the forefront of the tension and toil against Negan — which would have made all of the storylines feel way more intense and important," u/Jon_Jraper posted. One fan believes Glenn's climactic death came at the expense of Maggie's character, stalling her story arc for multiple seasons.

Another Redditor, u/MrAnderson-expectyou, challenged the validity of u/Jon_Jraper's viewpoint that an earlier exit for Glenn would have impacted Rick Grimes' group the way the user's opinion post suggests: "Not knowing if Glenn, one of the most important members of the group, was dead or not wouldn't have stood." The user also insisted that Glenn's friends would have formed search parties to find their comrade. u/Jon_Jraper then reiterated that hunting for Glenn wasn't the focal point of his theory.

"I'm pointing out that nearly every main character death has been witnessed by the group," u/Jon_Jraper defended his speculation. "And for the few that weren't, their body was always found. From there I'm suggesting – among other things – it would have been interesting if one time the search ended without confirmation." Inevitably, Glenn's death at the dumpster — confirmed or not — could have led to an unpredictable storyline and given some of the other key characters the chance to shine in a different light.