** SPOILERS FOLLOW for The Walking Dead graphic novels and Season 6 **
AMC's The Walking Dead has never been a show to pull its punches and Season 6 was no exception; turning everything up to eleven with Glen Rhee (Steven Yeun)'s supposed death and triumphant return, the Walkers and Wolves attacking Alexandria, the death of former Alexandria matriarch Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) and finally, the introduction of the Saviors - the group led by the brutal and dangerous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Once again there's been a fresh roster of death falling upon The Walking Dead's Survivors for the first half of Season 6, and even though Glen has returned now the looming threat of Negan means that this could be a short lived reprieve for him (say it aint so!)
Daryl's Dropping Hints
Norman Reedus, who portrays TV show original character and fan favourite Daryl Dixon, spoke out regarding the latter half of The Walking Dead season 6 during a Variety interview at his recent photography show in Los Angeles, and according to the crossbow wielding hero we haven't seen anything yet...
"I feel like if I tell you anything about the show an AMC satellite will lazer beam me in the forehead and I'll just drop on the floor. I will say that [The Walking Dead season 6] back half is the best eight [episodes] we’ve ever done. It’s super intense. I mean that show, this season has kind of been like if you pulled back an arrow and let it go at the end of the first episode, that arrow is just gaining momentum. It's - it's very intense."
Intense indeed, for the second half of The Walking Dead Season 6 is set to introduce the vicious Saviour overlord Negan and all the hell his people bring down upon the survivors.
Let's Talk About Negan...
Up until last month there had been a ton of speculation about whether or not we were going to see Negan making an appearance in Season 6, and then it was officially confirmed that Walking Dead fan and actor Jeffery Dean Morgan would be appearing soon as one of the biggest bads from the graphic novels.
Negan is the sleazy, yet enigmatic, head of a large Washington based group of survivors called the Saviours. In the comics Rick and the rest of his group at Alexandria are forced to start trading with them, giving them half their supplies in exchange for protection. But things don't go according to plan, with fatal consequences.
To be fair, The Walking Dead TV show doesn't always follow the canon of the comic books, but given that Morgan has said he's pushing to keep Negan "as close as humanly possible" to his comic book counterpart, the impact of his introduction will be devastating to the group...
Rick first encounters Negan when he makes a deal with another group of survivors at their base called the Hilltop; he'll get rid of Negan and the Saviours (whom he hasn't yet encountered at this point) in exchange for getting up a trade route with the Hilltop.
Rick and co later take out a small group of the Saviours, not knowing the hell that will follow on from this action. Whilst out scouting with Eugene, Abraham is shot through the head and killed by the Saviours as revenge for Rick's actions.
In the TV show Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz)'s character is just starting to come full circle. He's gone from being a violent and volatile creature, to losing his last chance for hope, to finding a place within Ricks group for himself. It would be a shame to lose him right now, but he's not really the character that folk are most worried about...
I think this has become pretty common knowledge by now, but Glen's death in the graphic novels is so affecting because of how incredibly brutal and senseless it is. There are very few characters left on The Walking Dead who have been there since the very beginning; Glen is a huge fan favourite and the next longest running character next to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) if you don't count Morgan Jones (Lennie James).
So in the graphic novel Negan ambushes the group and violently beats Glen to death with his wire covered baseball bat (named Lucille) as revenge for the killing of his men.
It's super brutal, unexpected and incredibly upsetting, particularly as his wife Maggie (who is pregnant at this point - something we discovered in the show recently) and his adopted daughter Sophia are present and forced to watch as his head is caved in.
Should They Stick To The Comics?
I don't know about the rest of you but if AMC went ahead and killed off Glen at this juncture I don't think they'd win many brownie points with the fanbase, especially as he's just come back from the dead (sorta) now.
Glen has come a long way since Season 1, and his romance with Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise dark series, especially now that they're preparing to bring a child into the world.
Of course, there's no reason that they have to follow this particular narrative, they could swap Glen out with a more minor character or merely change this event all together as the show is wont to do. But it is one of the more shocking and defining moments of the comics, so you never know...
One thing is for certain though, that intensity that Reedus has teased? I think we can expect that and then some when Episode 9 of The Walking Dead Season 6 kicks off the second part of the season, airing Valentines Day, February 14th 2016.