Last night, fans of The Walking Dead had their collective guts ripped out watching Glenn seemingly have his guts ripped out and eaten while at the bottom of a massive zombie horde. As Walking Dead fans know, there have been many other moments where a fan favorite makes their final appearance on the show, and Glenn will probably be no exception. But it hasn’t happened yet. At least, we hope not.
Today, Walking Dead fans are processing what happened to Glenn in last night’s Season 6 Episode 3 shocker (titled “Thank You”), and more than a few justifiable arguments are coming to light about how Glenn could escape from death. Let’s start with the strongest Glenn survives theory that is actually supported by the episode itself.
There is a scene where Glenn radios to Rick about a new plan to slow down and possibly stop the zombie horde on his trail. Glenn calls Rick “dumbass,” which hearkens back to when Glenn and Rick first met in Season 1 Episode 2, appropriately titled “Guts.” At first, it was most likely meant to show a moment of camaraderie between Glenn and Rick and how far their relationship has come since then. But in hoping to get viewers to reminisce about Glenn and Rick, the “dumbass” comment also points to the very first time Glenn and Rick had to get through a zombie horde and how they did it.
In the Walking Dead “Guts” episode, Glenn and Rick (as well as Andrea, T-Dog, Merle, and others) are trapped in a downtown Atlanta department store with zombie hordes massed around every corner. They hatch a plan to get to make a run for a construction site truck just down the road. There are only a few hundred zombies between them and the trucks. Glenn and Rick then chop up a corpse and cover themselves in blood and entrails from the corpse to smell as dead as the zombies do. The plan works long enough to get them close to a truck, and they ultimately make it out of Atlanta. Watch the highlights from the “Guts” episode on AMC.com to see how Glenn and Rick put the plan into action.
When Glenn was last seen in last night’s Walking Dead episode, he was on the ground with Nicholas’ corpse lying on top of him and with a mass of zombies eating what is hoped to be Nicholas instead of Glenn. It can be imagined that Nicholas’ blood and viscera are spilling out onto Glenn, trapped underneath the corpse of Nicholas and the zombie horde. It can also be imagined that Glenn could come to keep his emotions in check, think clearly, and realize that a trick he’s used before could possibly be used again.
Another notable item to support the Glenn survives case is that the death scene doesn’t actually show Glenn getting eaten by the zombies. The camera angle is expertly positioned to show the zombies tearing into a body, but it isn’t obvious that it’s Glenn. In fact, it shows the zombies tearing through clothes that match the color of the ones Nicholas was wearing. The Walking Dead has killed many fan favorites on the show, and their deaths have been made visibly certain.
As this Forbes article states, “This level of song and dance and ambiguity has never happened before.”
While the outcry on social media is near riotous, there are yet more items missing here to say Glenn is indeed dead. As of this writing, there’s no mention of Glenn being dead on AMC’s official Walking Dead Twitter account, nor on their Facebook page. Even Glenn himself, Steve Yuen, hasn’t posted any definitive Glenn is dead message, as would be expected.
So, until there is word that points to Glenn somehow not escaping the dire predicament we last saw him in, it’s acceptable to believe he will return in a future episode of The Walking Dead. Which episode, and in what state Glenn may be in, are the really big questions Walking Dead fans will be struggling with until then.