The Walking Dead star and showrunner discuss the Glenn reveal

glenn walking deadThis week’s episode of The Walking Dead finally gave fans closure about whether or not Glenn survived a walker horde. Fortunately, the episode opened with the explanation for Glenn’s survival (more details on that in my review of that episode), making fans everywhere finally let go of the breath they’d been holding for a month.

After the controversial episode “Thank You” when Glenn was plunged into a mob of hungry walkers, debates, discussions, and speculations were made on and offline about the character’s fate. Many refused to believe that he had died despite the silence from star Steven Yeun, and the showrunner and producers’ refusal to give any straight answers.

Finally, during a commercial break during AMC’s Into the Badlands, Steven Yeun gave a special message to fans of the show:

“I’ve been following everything you’ve been saying and it’s meant so much to me to see all of your support and concern for Glenn. The Walking Dead has the best fans in the world and I’m happy to be back.”

Showrunner Scott M. Gimple appeared with Yeun on the post-show Talking Dead to discuss the cliffhanger and its aftermath. EW reports that Yeun felt “relieved” that the secret was out.

Yeun said:

“I feel relieved. I feel grateful. I feel so amazed at the response. I feel bad that I couldn’t say anything to everyone and family and friends. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost friendships along the way. But yeah, it’s kind of been overwhelming. I didn’t even really know how to take it all.”

According to EW, Gimple’s decision to let the cliffhanger unresolved for a month was the need for telling a story of uncertainty. Gimple said:

“When people leave the walls – in this case of Alexandria – they don’t have cell phones. They aren’t rocking ’80s beepers. You don’t know what happens. You have no idea. When they leave, that could be the last time you see them. And I think it was important to do a story this year about uncertainty, and the audience would share that uncertainty that the characters had…”

In response to the passionate online reaction (both positive and negative) to the supposed death, Gimple had this to say:

“There’s just been a lot of it. And I think it’s wonderful, it is a dream come true to provide a collective experience – to provide something that was around when I was a kid – which is, you could talk to a stranger about TV. And I think that’s been going on again. I think there’s been a lot of conversations about this and that’s been exciting. It makes the world just a little bit smaller.”

Yeun also expressed being humbled by the fan’s reactions to his character:

“You realize in that moment that you have affected a lot of people at once and that’s something that you don’t really see that often anymore. And especially with what’s going on in the world now it’s nice to have some connection.”

He also added that Glenn’s survival symbolizes that even in a show as bleak as The Walking Dead, there can still be hope. Yeun said:

“I think it proves that this world still can take that story of the good guy winning sometimes. I really like the fact that it’s not this bent of always seeking out something miserable happening on television or something terrible and sulking on that and rather just really accepting the fact that sometimes good guys survive.”

Tune in for The Walking Dead‘s mid-season finale this Sunday on AMC.