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Why Glenn's Fate On The Walking Dead Makes No Sense

We all saw it coming. While The Walking Dead usually makes its main characters' deaths as clear and gory as possible, the passing of Glenn was masked by so much cinematic subterfuge that any loyal viewer knew that it couldn't have been true. You know, once sense returned after an evening spent crying on the couch. So, while we now know that Glenn still lives, and we're all very grateful that the show's most optimistic mainstay will be around for a while longer, there's still a whole lot about the situation that doesn't make much sense.

Noise Equals Death

Even though Glenn wasn't eaten by the walkers, we know that zombie rule number one is to shut the heck up. Glenn seems pretty sure that he's going to get chomped to death by the surrounding army of the undead, so he screams his pretty little head off while Nicholas is actually devoured. However, if the show's Zombie Prime Directive still applies, those hungry walkers would have gone right for Glenn's eyes. Walkers invariably prefer live prey to dead prey, often leaving a fresh kill behind for one that's even fresher, so the fact that they'd ignore Glenn's screams and focus exclusively on his pal's dead body doesn't seem to fit the established rules of the universe.

Humans Smell Delicious

In addition to sensing live bodies by sound, walkers also seem to use smell to tell if you're a rotting corpse or a blood-filled sack of delicious, warm flesh. Living survivors have wandered among zombie hordes by slathering themselves in zombie goop and walking like they stubbed all of their toes. So why would an army of zombies all just kind of miss that there's a sweet-smelling, alive dude hiding underneath a dumpster? The ol' "hide-underneath" thing hasn't had a whole lot of success in the past, with walkers able to sniff out the living under cars and other claustrophobic areas, so why did it work this time?

Just Too Lucky

Glenn has more lives than a sack full of cats, and in a world where billions of sticky, dead people want to eat you alive, those lives should have dwindled a lot faster than they have. This is a dude who has narrowly avoided having his head smashed in by the folks at Terminus, survived a deadly zombie plague in the prison, and skirted death more times than anyone else in the series. While everyone else loses limbs and heads, Glenn slides on through the worst of it unscathed, and even gets a hot girl while he's doing it. Surviving the dumpster ordeal without losing a limb is just so far beyond the realm of believable that it seems even more unrealistic than a world full of zombies.

How Many Bullets?

One of the original theories about Glenn's survival mentions the fact that Glenn and Nicholas had run out of bullets before the suicidal Nicholas blew his own brains out. Maybe the fact that the two had already abandoned their firearms after hearing the click of empty chambers was a red herring, but it still warrants an explanation we haven't been given. How does a guy without any bullets shoot himself in the head? This isn't one of those riddles that involves a rabbit, a cabbage, and a river; this is a serious plot point that misled the audience, and we probably need some closure on that.

Death Is Near

Lately, the TV version of The Walking Dead has stuck pretty close to the comics in a lot of ways. We have the settlement at Alexandria, and we've even had the first appearance of the Saviors, who were presumably the same people who were chasing down Daryl's recent captors, so comic readers know what's happening next. Spoilers start here, folks. Before the full season is over, Carl will probably lose his eye, and Glenn will probably have his head smashed in by Negan, the series' absolute worst villain, and probably one of the scariest bad guys in comics. Is it worth keeping Glenn alive if he's just going to die in a few more episodes anyhow?

Death Is Forever

The Walking Dead has a certain way that it treats death, and it excels at dashing hopes rather than nurturing them, because zombie worlds thrive on bleakness and despair. The show is full of characters who almost die, survive, and then die anyhow, including Sophia, Dale, Merle, Andrea, Hershel, and an ongoing list of other excellent characters. We've never had a character appear to die on screen and return a few episodes later in perfect health. That's comic book stuff, and this is supposed to be a realistic presentation of a post-apocalyptic world. When people start coming back to life, death loses its impact.