This week’s episode has sent the internet into a frenzy and with good reason too! Only five characters from the first series have managed to survive up until this point in The Walking Dead, so it’s no surprise that fans have been going crazy about potentially losing one of them in ‘Thank You’. Nobody is safe in The Walking Dead, that much is certain, but could they really kill off such a major character this early in the sixth series?
Glenn and Nicholas haven’t exactly had the best relationship in the show’s history (what with the attempted murder and all), but for some reason Glenn always tried to see the best in this hopeless and cowardly character. That is probably why Nicholas’ last words before shooting himself in the head were a heart-felt “thank you” to the man who has continually forgiven him and tried to help him survive in this cruel world. Heart-warming stuff, except for the fact that it has pretty much given Glenn a death sentence. When Nicholas takes his own life, he falls right on top of Glenn, resulting in them both being thrown straight into a huge crowd of walkers. This was one of the moments where you just want to just scream at the television, knowing that there is little to no chance of one of your favourite characters surviving. It is pretty ironic that despite not being able to kill him when he meant to do it, Nicholas still could likely be the cause of Glenn’s death.
Yet, as many eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed, we don’t actually see Glenn die this week. Thanks to some very clever camera work, it isn’t really clear whose organs the walkers are chowing down on at the end of this scene. What has made many viewers believe that Glenn is still alive is the fact that the walkers are clearly pulling out intestines from what would be his chest area. It doesn’t take a surgeon to know that intestines aren’t that high up in your body and that in this case, they were most likely Nicholas’ organs. Alongside the fact that Glenn’s death wasn’t confirmed on this week’s The Talking Dead, this uncertainty suggests that there’s still a chance that he may have survived this seemingly unescapable situation and that he will return later in the series. It will require a lot of explanation, but there’s still a possibility that Glenn Rhee is not gone for good.
That being said, if Glenn doesn’t magically survive a horde of walkers piling up on top of him, it could lead to some interesting possibilities in the show’s future. In the comic book series, Glenn has a highly significant death that is integral to setting up the Saviours as the major villains that they are. The show has been following the comic books pretty closely as of late and the only key deviation from the source material is that occasionally different characters follow storylines previously attributed to others in the comic books. By having Glenn die in ‘Thank You’, it would allow this iconic death scene to belong to somebody else. This would ensure that all viewers, even those that have read the comics, are on the edge of their seat when the time comes for one of our heroes to come face-to-face with Lucille. For it to have the same shocking quality and for it to make us instantly despise Negan in the same way that this moment did in the comic books, it would have to be another key figure taking Glenn’s place, most likely another member of the Atlanta Five. Although I highly doubt that this is the route the showrunners will take, it could be a very interesting way for this future storyline to play out. However, if it does happen, my money is on Daryl stepping up to the plate.