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The Real Reason Madison Was Originally Killed Off Fear The Walking Dead

The AMC series "The Walking Dead" has been a major staple among horror fans since its debut in 2010. The series, adapted from the graphic novels of the same name, focuses on the survivors of a postapocalyptic zombie world. The show's success has led to a number of spin-offs, the first of which was "Fear the Walking Dead," which is set in the same world and focuses on a different group of survivors of the same apocalypse. With a main cast that originally consisted of Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Cliff Curtis, and Alycia Debnam-Carey, the show gained many fans from its parent show before growing its own.

One of the most shocking moments in "Fear the Walking Dead" was the death of Madison Clark (Dickens). Madison had been the focal character from the show's pilot until the fourth season, which jumped ahead in time and in which she appeared only in other characters' flashbacks. The troubling reason for this was ultimately revealed in the midseason finale, showing that Madison sacrificed herself by luring away a horde of zombies, giving others in her community a chance to escape.

Fans wondered at the time what led to the decision, but the showrunners have since spoken about the real reason Madison was originally killed off "Fear the Walking Dead."

Madison's death drove home the season's theme

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss spoke about the death of Madison Clark, saying that it was a story decision that fit with the larger theme of the season.

"The story we're telling is a story about hope and people losing hope, and then finding it again. And for us, that meant having someone make the ultimate sacrifice for what they believed in, and that is what Madison did in this episode," Chambliss said, adding that Madison "sacrificed herself to protect her family and everyone else that they had brought together in this bigger community — and did it in a way that really showed her family that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what the cost."

Co-showrunner Ian Goldberg backed up the idea, emphasizing that they bore no ill will toward actor Kim Dickens and adding, "It goes without saying that she will always be a part of this family."

The fact that Dickens and the showrunners left on good terms was borne out by the announcement that Madison would be making a surprise return to the series in the show's 7th season, though the details of her return are still under wraps. Fans have clamored for Madison's return ever since Dickens' departure from the show, and fellow castmember Colman Domingo, who plays Victor Strand, even admitted to having an emotional reaction to the news of Dickens leaving the show, proving that she was beloved by both the cast and the fans.