The most highly anticipated season premiere in "The Walking Dead" history has left fans distraught, to say the least. Six months ago, the season 6 finale begged the question: Who did #Negan kill? Fans have waited patiently, speculating who the unlucky victim was. The general consensus was that it would most likely be Abraham, Daryl, or #Glenn. Little did fans know, the writers were not just offing one character, but two. If you have not yet watched the season 7 premiere, there are spoilers ahead.
Season 7 shock and disgust
As predicted, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) was the first to go in the premiere episode of season 7. After about 20 minutes waiting in agonizing torture, we see what happened through a flashback in Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) mind. In the most basic terms, it can be described as horrific. What's even more disturbing is what happened next. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) bashed Glenn (Steven Yeun) on the top of his head with Lucille, his barbed wire wrapped baseball bat. At this point, I actually screamed. I have never been so horrified by a TV show before. Opting for a close up shot of Glenn's suffering, they showed him with his skull caving in, blood oozing down his face, and an eye bulging out. Allowing him to suffer for several minutes, Negan taunted him and the others, including Glenn's pregnant wife, Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Glenn managed to mumbled, "Maggie, I'll find you," before Negan proceeded to pulverize his head.
Why this doesn't work
Many have argued that this was Glenn's death in the comics; therefore, it is fitting for the show. First, "The Walking Dead" has not been known for following the comics directly. Daryl (Norman Reedus) was created specifically for the show and has become one of the most popular characters. Many of the characters' deaths have not matched the comics, including Abraham's death. He was supposed to die by way of an arrow to the eye. This death was given to Denise (Merritt Wever) in season 6. Second, reading about this kind of death and actually seeing it are two completely different things. Being such a pure character, Glenn's death was unnecessarily brutal. It was traumatizing and has caused many fans to lose trust in the writers of the show. Many even turned off the show immediately after Glenn was hit, unable to stomach the horrendous torture.
In order to write a great villain, the writers must create some sort of sympathy for him. It doesn't have to be much. It just needs to be something small that allows the audience to understand why the character is the way that he is. For example, the cannibalistic community, Terminus, was given a strong backstory. Seeing what they had gone through in the past, we were able to accept them for who they had become. They were brutal, but acceptable. I argue that the season 5 premiere in October 2014 was the best episode of the series. However, Negan has no redeeming factors. At this point, there is nothing that can make what he did acceptable in any way. He is not a well written bad guy. He's simply a pathetic coward. His actions have caused me to lose interest in the show entirely. Anyone can write an insane, sadistic psychopath character. What makes for quality writing is making audiences accept that character. This shift in the show's plot has led to a path that many viewers, including myself, cannot follow. It's depressing that it had to turn out this way. "The Walking Dead" has been number one on my list of TV shows since it first aired in October 2010. Glenn's death, in this manner, has shown that the writers and producers have no respect for the audience. They are simply looking for shock value. #TheWalkingDead