The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus complained a lot to TWD showrunner Scott Gimple about the first half of Season 7. Andrew Lincoln did not like it either, describing 7A as a “painful season.”
Norman Reedus hated his job on The Walking Dead for the first time in seven years. The working conditions became miserable. Norman was isolated from his TWD co-stars and on top of all that he didn’t like the plot shift one bit, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“I didn’t even see anybody. I was in a hole by myself, naked. It just did not feel right to me. I’d talk to Gimple, and I’d be like, ‘Man, this s**ks. I hate this.’ And he’d be like, ‘You’re supposed to.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, there you go.'”
Andrew Lincoln didn’t like The Walking Dead Season 7A any more than Norman Reedus did. Lincoln was miserable the whole time. It was even impacting his home life, according to Entertainment Weekly. Andrew describes coming home after shooting the first scene outside of the once beautiful, but now miserably oppressive Alexandria.
“This was such a painful season until that point. That was the highlight of the first half of the season for me. I came back home after two days of being drenched in sweaty, zombie-filled waters, and my wife said, ‘You look happy for the first time.'”
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln didn’t like having their heroic characters beat down. They also hated the lack of action and excitement and the overall oppressive tone of the situation.
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus was cold, uncomfortable and laid bare for the world to see. TWD hero Daryl Dixon was humiliated and degraded, but what seemed to bother Reedus the most was isolation from his co-stars. Now the group is back together and he is glad.
“We missed having the feeling that we had when we started this thing. I mean, I know the show evolves and all of that stuff, but man, that first half was rough, so I’m excited that we’re all back together.”
Andrew Lincoln of The Walking Dead explained the situation to Entertainment Weekly from Rick Grimes point of view.
“Plainly, by being able to swallow his pride — or way too long, in my opinion, come on, kick some a**! — for a full half season, someone who’s been such a driving force, to be able to hold his breath for the sake of the community, it’s an amazing turn-around from whom this guy was last season.”
Many The Walking Dead fans seemed to find 7A almost as miserable as Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln did. For the first six seasons, TWD ratings increased geometrically, but for the first time ratings started to decline sharply after the 7A premiere.
Though The Walking Dead’s ratings are still extremely high, they did decline significantly for the first time during Season 7A. Why? Because it felt miserable. Dramatically, it was technically very good. The acting was impeccable, but that just made it seem more personal and more real. The storyline was incredible, but it was just uncomfortable and sad, especially for Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln.
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln represent something to The Walking Dead viewers. The whole zombie genre is deeply symbolic and tends to make its way into the subconscious of the audience very powerfully as this Inquisitr article explains.
The Walking Dead fans identify powerfully with Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln as they portray Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes. Some psychologists believe that in the subconscious, zombies represent various problems facing individuals within society. The fans identify with the various heroic characters.
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln are talented actors who make fans of The Walking Dead feel their pain on a very deep level, especially when coupled with the symbolic nature of the zombie scenario that tends to strike a deeper chord with viewers.
Seeing Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln brought low and not fighting back felt very wrong to many The Walking Dead viewers and to the actors themselves.
Andrew Lincoln explains how he feels about Rick Grimes ordeal in The Walking Dead Season 7.
“It s**ks for that first half of the season to be a guy that led this group for so long — and they’ve been not without their trials and tribulations but there’s always been some semblance of hope in Rick — and to have that beaten out of him is heartbreaking, at least it was for me. I did not enjoy filming on set. I was not a happy camper.”
When Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln questioned the plot line, Scott Gimple was quick to respond. The Walking Dead has a distinct storyline that must be followed, and it has a meaning that can’t be changed.
The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple and Greg Necotero responded to criticism from fans and cast, including Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln, saying that it was all about the storytelling and the point of the story was to come back stronger after being pushed to the brink. Necotero told Den of Geek this “is what the world is about.”
“as tough as it [The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere] was for people to watch, I don’t think we would have done it any differently. I don’t think we’ll ever pull ourselves back. There is definitely a difference between violence against walkers and human on human violence, but truthfully, we’re serving our story.”
Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, many cast members and a lot of fans were upset by The Walking Dead 7A, but it had to be that way, as miserable as it was for everyone involved to go through that.
The Walking Dead is all about the story written by Robert Kirkman. It is a story with deeper meanings and a plot line already built. It can’t be changed on a whim. It can vary, but it can’t just take on another direction entirely. It means something when Glenn gets killed, so it has to happen.
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The Walking Dead 7A, with Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, and the viewers suffering through all that misery, is a part of the plot that sets the stage for the rest of the season, and in many ways for seasons yet to come. It was necessary.
Now in The Walking Dead 7B, all that is over. Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln and the rest of the cast are back together and starting to fight back. “All Out War” is starting. One cannot have “All Out War” without good reason. There had to be a provocation. That’s what 7A was about.
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln as Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes will fight back in Season 7B. They will take back their lost dignity, and go to war with Negan and the Saviors to defend their freedom.
Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln love Season 7B and The Walking Dead fans will too.
[Featured Image by John Sciulli/Getty Images]