The Walking Dead has kept audiences captivated for six seasons now, with fans growing ever more loyal to characters like Daryl and Glenn and having their hearts broken over the tragic deaths of others. And while the show hasn’t stuck strictly to the comic version of the story, fans have been poring over the books in search of any clue as to the fate of the group before the series starts up again on Sunday night. It probably won’t help, as showrunners have managed to keep us guessing throughout the whole of the series, but producer Gale Anne Hurd says that they won’t completely destroy us all in tonight’s premiere.
(Caution: possible spoilers ahead.)
“I wouldn’t say that we’re ‘Red Wedding’ it, but it’s a dangerous world and there are so many dangers that they’re facing from within. We’ve seen some indications that not everyone in Alexandria necessarily is with the program. Now, we’ve introduced the specter of Negan, and obviously we still have the walkers out there…and it’s not as if the Wolves have been terminated, either. So, the stakes are greater and graver than ever.”
The “Red Wedding” is, of course, a reference to an infamous episode of Game Of Thrones, another show with a huge viewership and a penchant for breaking hearts. While fans understand that in a world full of walkers — where every character has a potentially limited lifespan that could end at any moment — there are no guarantees as to who might end up alive at the end of the day. However, the loss of a major, beloved character — such as Daryl or Glenn — could change things forever for the hit show. Of course, Hurd can’t give us any spoilers as to the fate of any one character in the upcoming season, but she does say that while the writers deviate from the books, there are also particular scenes that are shot-for-shot. That fact, coupled with Glenn’s near-death and subsequent escape in the first part of Season 6, have fans worried for him.
“In the comic books, Andrea has been alive for a long time. There is no Daryl in the comic books. And we do try to bring frames to life. Like the fight between Pete and Rick. There’s a frame of them busting through the window. Those are the Easter eggs for the comic book fans,” Hurd said.
For fans interested to see the major plot differences between the books and the show, Forbes‘ Paul Tassi suggests reading up to issue 83, which would end right before Negan shows up. The new character will play a pivotal role in the new season and will come to life at the hands of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The brutal nature of Negan in the books will likely transfer to the series, but Hurd says that this man isn’t like the Governor.
“The thing about Negan, if you don’t read the comic books, he’s completely charming… He’s the kind of leader who, in a sense, is predictable and unpredictable at the same time. He’s definitely in charge and he charms you right before he kills you, but in a different way than the Governor. He really knows what it is he’s doing. Whereas I think the Governor was a bit deluded as to, was he a good guy or not a good guy. We got to see an interesting side of the Governor with his daughter, Penny. Negan’s not going to have a Penny. He’s got a very strong relationship with his baseball bat, very close and personal… Negan has named his bat Lucille, that’s wrapped with barbed wire.”
As Tassi points out, there are some major differences in some of the characters between books and series, which is how the writers will keep us guessing. In the books, Negan kills Glenn with his baseball bat, but that’s not necessarily an indicator of what’s to come. The comics don’t even feature Daryl at all, and Carol was killed off after unraveling.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]