Calling all #TheWalkingDead fans! How would you answer this question: Why did they put so much gruesome, bloody violence in the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead? Maybe your answer is "The comics did it" or, "They have to keep raising the bar to get the viewers." Or maybe something like, "That's just the way Negan is."
According to a recent interview #AndrewLincoln did with Entertainment Weekly, it's none of those, but something that TWD fans have probably known all along, though they may not have realized it.
*Warning: The Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers are ahead.*
The answer lies in this statement from Lincoln:
“This season made a lot more sense once we got the last role of film in the can for episode 716.”
It seems that the showrunners may have had other purposes when, in this season's opener, Negan smashed Abraham and Glenn's heads in.
They knew it would all come together in the season finale.
In the comics, after Rick and crew go to war with Negan, they take down the ruthless leader of the Saviors. But, even after all the brutality Negan had shown them, Rick decided to take the peaceful route and throw him in the slammer, where Negan stayed for two years. If that is, in fact, how Season 7 is going to end, with a peaceful ending contrasting a very bloody opening, then it looks like the carnage we witnessed back in October makes perfect sense.
This has worked for earlier seasons of The Walking Dead, but usually in reverse order:
Sophia Peletier, Season 2
Season 2 started with Sophia getting separated from the group, and they were searching for her when Carl got shot. This lead the group to Hershel's farm, where we learned Sophia was one of the walkers being held in the barn.
The search for Sophia may have seemed long and cumbersome to some fans, and completely strayed from the comics (where Sophia is still alive), but in the midseason finale, her heart-wrenching end left us in shock. We started that season out slow, and even a bit boring, wondering when the search for Sophia would end. But when it did, it was worth the build-up.
The Prison, Season 3
Hershel's death ranks right up there with the most tear-jerking television deaths: Brian the dog on Family Guy. Charlie on Lost. Bobby on Supernatural. Mark Greene on E.R. But at the start of the season, we meet up with the gang in the prison after they seemingly have defeated the Governor. Rick is a farmer, Daryl is popular - you get the picture. It starts out pretty slow. But by the time the Season 3 midseason premiere rolls around, our beloved Hershel is nothing but a reanimated head. And when the season finale is over, Rick and company are getting ready to be slaughtered by a bunch of cannibals. Just like Season 2, they start out nice and easy, happy even, and then it all goes to hell.
Terminus/Alexandria, Season 5
Personally, I never did see what all the uproar was about when Negan and Lucille went to town on Abe and Glenn. This scene from the Season 5 premiere seemed just as over-the-top with gore:
The midseason finale ends with Beth shot dead in the hospital, following a half season of a post-apocalyptic version of Grey's Anatomy. But in the season finale, after a build-up of Rick slowly losing his mind, Pete kills Reg and Rick executes Pete. The final scene is silence as Rick looks up to find Mr. Zen himself, Morgan, staring at him in shock and awe.
More Walking Dead Season 7 goodness:
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Episode 4, 'Service' May Have Answered A Huge Season 6 Mystery
- 5 Reasons To Be Excited For The Rest Of 'The Walking Dead' Season 7
- This 'Star Wars' And 'The Walking Dead' Mashup Picture Perfect Sets Up Season 7b
Obviously, with all the smoke and mirrors we get from TWD actors and producers, who really knows for sure what's going to happen at the end of #TheWalkingDeadSeason7?
Andrew Lincoln could be messing with us, and he's actually going to annihilate Negan and his stupid little bat.
How do you think this season is going to end, peacefully or brutally? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or telepathically, if that's your thing!