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Why That Walking Dead Death Might Not Be Real

The Walking Dead's sixth season episode "Thank You" featured a heartbreaking death that no one could have anticipated. Glenn, a character who's been with the show since the very first episode, fell off of a dumpster and was apparently torn to shreds by hungry zombies, all in the middle of a completely botched plan to eliminate the undead denizens of an enormous zombie pit near their town of Alexandria. Could the popular show really kill off such a beloved character? All signs point to no, so here are some reasons why we think Glenn survived the worst zombie attack in Walking Dead history.

Where's Nicholas?

In Glenn's iconic maybe-death scene, he's perched atop a dumpster with Nicholas, a trashbag of a human being who's slowly learning to survive in a zombie-infested world. Nicholas decides that he can't take it anymore, so he shoots himself in the head and tumbles into the zombie horde, bringing Glenn down with him. The last we see of Nicholas is his falling body, but we never see him touch the ground or get eaten, which is only one of many creative editing tricks that may indicate that something is amiss. Why deny viewers a first-row seat to a well-deserved death, unless it didn't happen how we might expect?

Anatomy Lesson

When Glenn hits the ground, the zombies immediately start tearing into... something, but it's never clearly shown that it's Glenn being eaten. Glenn continues to scream while the walkers pull intestines out of what looks like Glenn's chest, but unless Glenn possesses some incredibly bizarre anatomy, this seems to point to the fact that it's actually Nicholas, laid on top of Glenn, being eaten. Add this to the fact that Glenn continued screaming despite his organs being removed, without any of Dead's signature mouth-blood spurting, and you have one healthy Glenn.

Dream Within A Dream

The few moments leading up to Nicholas' suicide were filmed in a dream-like, hallucinatory state, which could mean just about anything. Was this a signifier of Nick losing his mind enough to choose suicide, or just losing his mind enough to leave reality? Or maybe this hazy state is the moment in which Glenn snaps and loses all hope for a walker-infested universe. There's a lot of heavy visual metaphor going on, and the fancy editing tricks definitely point towards some kind of break from reality. Until we see Glenn's body, it's easy to assume that it's still a living, breathing one.

Feel Lucky, Punk?

As Glenn and Nick are fighting off the walkers, they run out of bullets and start hacking and slashing with knives before they climb on top of the dumpster. There's really no time to reload their guns, but somehow, Nick manages to shoot himself in the head with a bullet that wasn't in the chamber before. Walking Dead might have a few unusual plot oversights, but this magic bullet is such a glaring anomaly that there must be some greater, secret truth behind the whole scene.

Covered In Your Friend's Blood

At one point in the episode, Michonne is talking to Heath about how dang hard it is to survive in a world where all of your old pals are trying to eat your kidneys, and she mentions that sometimes it's hard to tell if you're covered in your friends' blood or your own. In light of Glenn's possible survival, while covered in copious amounts of someone's blood, the whole conversation sounds like a hint at Glenn soon being covered in Nick's gut goop, and not his own.

What About the Comics?

Spoiler alert: Glenn dies in the Walking Dead comics, and he dies while the group is in Alexandria, but he definitely doesn't die by way of walkers. Sure, The Walking Dead diverges from its comic counterpart all over the place, but Glenn's comic death is considered iconic, and tremendously brutal. Comic-Glenn dies at the end of a baseball bat held by Negan, the leader of Saviors, a kind of post-apocalyptic mafia. Chances are slim that the writers would let Glenn die by zombie after surviving so many of them, especially when there are much more meaningful options.

On The Set

One of the more telling, behind-the-scenes hints that Glenn might still be alive is that Steven Yeun, the actor who plays Glenn, is still being seen hanging around the Walking Dead set. He may only be there for flashback scenes, or one of the many back-in-time filler episodes, but he may also be present for stuff that actually happens after his supposed death. Or maybe he just misses his still-living pals that he's been working with for five years. Actors have hearts too.

Something Else

Producers were quickly hammered with questions about Glenn's death shortly after "Thank You" aired, and they were all extremely tight-lipped about the untimely demise, which itself speaks volumes. If Glenn is actually dead, producers would embrace and discuss the epic choice, as they always have in the past. Instead, they've only hinted that the part of Glenn that believed in hope is dead, and he's become "something else." Whether that means that his brain has been eaten, he's now a walker, or if he's just dead inside...we'll just have to wait and see.