Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers and mild profanity.
Negan’s demented game of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” finally ended last night on The Walking Dead. The thumping crack of someone’s skull that left season 6 in the biggest cliff hanger of Walking Dead history was revealed as the sound of Abraham’s death.
It seems to me, however, he was merely a pawn in the larger scheme of things.
Since his introduction into the show in season 4, Abraham has become a main character and a source of entertaining dialogue in the series. Arguably his most iconic line “mother dick!” was just one of many hilariously cryptic statements he’s made. It was no accident his last words were “suck my nuts.”
Though I enjoyed his presence, I breathed a sigh of relief when it was his death and not one of the few remaining original characters.
The Walking Dead comic readers largely speculated Glenn was bound to die in the episode, just as he did in the 100th issue of the comic. I had triumphed in the peace that came with the death of Abraham instead.
It was a short-lived victory because, soon after, Glenn was killed, too.
I was waiting for one death. I never considered the possibility of there being two.
Glenn’s was the first death in the entire series that made me question my allegiance to the show. Sure, a lot of good people have died, but they were all replaceable. Glenn was not.
From the very first episode, Glenn risked his life to save Rick. His selflessness was repeated throughout the series as he escaped death countless times and tried to help as many of his friends along with him as he could.
Despite his and the rest of the crew’s efforts, many people died, but the effects of watching people die over and over again were different for each character. Rick was once heroic, but later shunned as a demented character by many watchers. Carol began as a helpless victim and later emerged as a master manipulator. Glenn was always the same.
No matter the circumstance, there was a kindness and concern that radiated from him. He cared for the group with a clever, level-headedness the other characters struggled to maintain. Right down to the end, Glenn watched out for the health of others. In season 6 episode 12, Glenn stopped Heath from killing a man in an attempt to protect him from the mental trauma it would incur.
Perhaps it was fit that the character who brought such a lightness to the dark subject matter of the show finally met his end in alignment with a new, particularly cruel character, Negan.
Though Negan is not the first villainous character to plague Rick’s group, he is the most powerful. He runs a dictatorship of similarly deranged men and women, called the saviors. The cruelty of Negan’s group was first made evident in season 6 episode 13 when Paula and Michelle were introduced, and further outlined by idleness of the rest of the saviors as Negan obliterated Abraham and Glenn’s heads with a bat wrapped in barbed wire. The Saviors are not a family, but a compilation of misfits who have already lost everything. People who have nothing to lose always seem to fight with an intimidating level of viciousness.
Without knowledge of the Saviors’ strength, Rick could not match it. The distraught helplessness in Rick’s eyes was a look he doesn’t wear often. Accepting defeat isn’t usually within the realm of possibility for him and his group, but by the look of next week’s preview, there’s a first for everything.
“I’m not in charge anymore,” Rick announces to Alexandria in the season 7 episode 2 promo.
So we’ll be seeing plenty of Negan.
Negan is the same as many dictators, though. He rules by fear, covered in a cloak of amity and fairness. He claims the Alexandrians will survive as long as they cooperate, but they won’t cooperate forever. It might be a while, but soon it’ll be time for another fight.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of The Walking Dead on Facebook.
Taylor Roar is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.