Here’s How & When Glenn Died in ‘The Walking Dead’

glenn death

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‘The Walking Dead’ is one of the most popular TV shows ever created that ran for 11 long seasons and 177 episodes. Over those 11 seasons, there’s no shortage of main characters getting introduced – and killed off along the way. One of those highly important characters was Glenn, portrayed by the talented Steven Yeun. But when and how did Glenn die?

Glenn died in the pilot episode of Season 7, titled ‘The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be’. After Negan kills Abraham, he taunts Rosita by waving the bloody bat in front of her. It triggers Daryl, who jumps and punches Negan once, which instigates him to kill another survivor. And this time, he chooses Glenn.

Glenn’s murder was one of the most gruesome, gut-wrenching, and heartbreaking deaths in the entire show. He was such a wholesome, fan-favorite character, but the worst thing was that it caught fans off-guard. There’s much more to this story that needs to be told, so if you want to know why Glenn’s death was so riveting – but important – keep on reading.

Glenn’s death explained

Season six of ‘The Walking Dead’ ended in a huge cliffhanger, with Negan and his people capturing the survivors, rounding them up, and deciding which to kill. I still vividly remember the teaser for Season 7, with Negan playing Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe to decide who to kill.

Then Season 7 came, and all hell broke loose. We learned that Abraham was the one to suffer a gruesome death via Lucille, Negan’s barbed-wired bat. It was a devastating loss for fans of the show – but not an unexpected one, as we already knew one of the survivors would die after the finale of Season 6. What came after Abraham’s death, though, was absolutely NOT expected.

glenn lucille

After bashing Abraham’s head with it, Negan kept taunting Rosita with the bloodied Lucille. At that moment, Daryl angrily punched Negan in the face once before being recaptured and subdued by Negan’s goons.

To show that he won’t tolerate such behavior and to show that he’s serious, Negan took to Lucille once again and killed another member of the survivors. He realized that Maggie and Glenn were together, so instead of killing Daryl for his outburst, Negan smashed Glenn in the head two times. 

He wanted to do as much damage as possible, not just physically to Glenn, but mentally to their entire group – to Daryl for being responsible for a friend’s death (in a way), and to Maggie, who witnessed her beloved husband’s death right before her eyes.

The two shots literally bashed Glenn’s skull so badly that his eyeball popped out. And still, he barely mustered the words: ‘Maggie, I’ll… find you.’ – Before Negan continued swinging Lucille until Glenn’s entire head was nothing but mush.

glenn death eye pop

It was a devastating, shocking moment for fans, especially seeing that two of our beloved characters died so horrifically in a matter of moments apart – and to top it all off, Maggie lost Glenn while in labor with their child, whereas Daryl was taken as a prisoner to Negan’s Sanctuary, where he was tormented in horrible ways.

Glenn’s death seemed too sudden and completely out of line at the moment – but there was actually a reason why Glenn was killed off at that very moment. Well, several reasons, actually.


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Why was Glenn killed off in ‘The Walking Dead’?

In the comics, Negan kills off only one of our beloved survivors – that one being Glenn. That’s why those fans who read the comics anticipated Glenn’s death as soon as we saw Negan and the Saviors capture the group in the woods. When we saw that it was Abraham instead of Glenn, there was a brief sigh of relief. And then, the inevitable happened. 

Robert Kirkman, the creator of ‘The Walking Dead,’ revealed that it simply had to happen for Entertainment Weekly. Not just to be comic-accurate – but because Glenn’s death was incredibly important for numerous developing storylines in the future.

glenn comics

Like Maggie, for instance. Had her husband not died in such a horrible way, she never would’ve grown as strong as she did. She’d never become the leader she became, and she never would’ve left the group as she did.

It also had a huge influence on Rick, who basically lost his most trusted ally, who he’s been together with since the very beginning of the apocalypse. It changed Rick in more ways than one. Also, let’s not forget how Glenn’s death influenced Daryl, who felt responsible for Glenn’s death for years to come.

It also made Negan a standout villain in the show and a pop-cultural icon. You loved to hate that guy; he was riveting, scary, and so incredibly well-portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.


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Glenn was such a fan-favorite character that the showrunners played with numerous options for avoiding that death. In the end, however, they realized it was just a too-important moment of the story that couldn’t be replaced:

“At the end of the day, we were like, pulling the thread on this sweater just pulls too many things apart, and it’s too difficult to get back on that trajectory without that death.”

Glenn’s death was shocking but incredibly important for the show, and it’ll remain one of the most astonishing moments in TV history.

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