Why Did Glenn Leave The Walking Dead? A Comprehensive Analysis


When it comes to TV shows, character departures can be incredibly challenging for fans to process. Few shows understand this quite as well as The Walking Dead, which has a reputation for frequently killing off beloved characters. The departure of Glenn Rhee, a fan favorite character played by Steven Yeun, was no exception. Glenn was an integral part of the show’s narrative, and his sudden departure left fans reeling. This article aims to help the audience understand why Glenn left The Walking Dead and the impact that his departure had on the show’s narrative and fans.

The Shocking Reason Behind Glenn’s Departure from The Walking Dead: A Comprehensive Analysis

Before delving deeper into the reasons behind Glenn’s departure, let’s first recap his past on the show. Glenn Rhee was a member of the original group of survivors and had been on the show since its very first episode. Throughout his time on the show, he had built a strong relationship with fellow survivor Maggie Greene, played by Lauren Cohan, and had become an essential player in the group’s fight for survival.

The event that led to Glenn’s departure is undoubtedly one of the most shocking moments in the show’s history. In season 7, episode 1, Negan, the leader of a brutal group called “The Saviors,” brutally beats Glenn to death with a baseball bat in front of the entire group. The scene was incredibly graphic and difficult to watch, more so because Glenn’s death came as a surprise to both the characters and the audience.

The reasons behind Glenn’s departure were mainly narrative-driven. The show had been building up to Negan’s arrival for a while, and the writers felt that his introduction needed to make a significant impact on the show’s narrative. Killing off a beloved character like Glenn was the highest price to pay for the group’s defiance towards Negan and his group.

The impact of Glenn’s death was palpable, both for the show’s narrative and its characters. His death had a profound effect on his loved ones, and it drove the others in the group to seek revenge against Negan and his group. It also marked a significant turning point that altered the show’s trajectory moving forward.

Saying Goodbye to Glenn: The Emotional Impact and Significance of His Exit from TWD

Glenn’s departure from the show was an emotional rollercoaster for fans and the cast alike. Glenn had been on the show since the beginning, and his death marked the end of an era. The outpouring of emotions from fans was significant, with social media exploding with tributes and condolences for Yeun’s departure.

At the same time, Glenn’s departure was significant in terms of the show’s narrative. Glenn’s death had a significant role in shaping the characters’ arcs and motivations, propelling them towards the final showdown with Negan. Furthermore, Glenn’s death highlighted the show’s tendency towards creating unpredictable, emotionally intense moments. It was a reminder that no character was safe in The Walking Dead.

Glenn’s Departure from The Walking Dead: An Examination of the Showrunners’ Decision-making Process

The decision to kill off a beloved character like Glenn was a challenging one for the showrunners. In an interview with Variety, showrunner, Scott Gimple, revealed that Yeun’s departure was always in the works, but the writers had initially planned to kill him off in season 6.

The decision to delay Glenn’s death was ultimately driven by the narrative. The showrunners felt that Glenn’s death at the hands of Negan would have an even greater impact on the show’s narrative. According to Gimple, Glenn’s death would “provide a necessary impetus for war.”

Furthermore, the showrunners were aware of the impact Glenn’s death would have on the show’s narrative, and they wanted to handle it with care. In the same interview with Variety, Gimple acknowledged the importance of handling the character’s departure in a way that did justice to the character and the story they had built for him.

Exploring How Glenn’s Departure Showcased the Brutality and Realism of TWD

One aspect that has always separated The Walking Dead from other TV shows is its brutal and realistic depiction of a post-apocalyptic world. The Walking Dead doesn’t shy away from showing the horrors and atrocities that can befall survivors in a world overrun by the undead.

Glenn’s departure was an excellent example of how the show leans into these themes. His death was not only shocking but was incredibly graphic, with the show not holding back on the violence. Glenn’s death was a stark reminder of the brutality and violence that permeates the world of The Walking Dead.

The Legacy of Glenn Rhee: Honoring the Character and the Actor Who Played Him

Despite Glenn’s departure from the show, his legacy remains intact. Glenn was a multi-dimensional character, and his journey on the show was an essential part of its narrative. Furthermore, Steven Yeun’s portrayal of Glenn had endeared him to the fan base, making his departure all the more impactful.

Glenn’s influence extends beyond his death, with his character’s memory continuing to shape the narrative. Glenn’s death has also helped the surviving characters develop further, consciously or unconsciously, following his footsteps or breaking free of them.

The Fan Reaction to Glenn’s Departure: How the Walking Dead Community Responded

It comes as no surprise that the fan reaction to Glenn’s departure was enormous. The Walking Dead has always had a massive loyal fan base, and Glenn was one of the show’s most beloved characters. Social media platforms were flooded with tributes, condolences, and messages of support for Yeun after his departure.

Some fans were enraged with the show’s decision to kill off Glenn, with some even threatening to boycott the show altogether. Others were more understanding of the narrative’s reasons behind Glenn’s death and acknowledged the significance it had on the show’s narrative. Regardless of their reaction, Glenn’s departure had an undeniable impact on the Walking Dead community.

How Glenn’s Death Part of a Larger Pattern of the Walking Dead’s Tendency to Kill Off Main Characters

One of the Walking Dead’s defining characteristics has always been its willingness to kill off main characters. Glenn’s death was part of a larger pattern where the show had continually used character departures to shock audiences, create tension, and move the narrative forward.

The showrunners have always been unapologetic about this approach, with Gimple stating in an interview with CinemaBlend that character deaths are necessary because “when characters die, it can propel the story as well as change the story.”

Glenn’s death was undoubtedly a significant moment in the show’s history, but it was not the first or the last time that a beloved character was brutally killed. It was a reminder that in the world of The Walking Dead, no one is safe.


Glenn’s departure from The Walking Dead was an emotionally charged moment that left a lasting impact on the show’s narrative and fan base. The showrunners’ decision to kill off such a beloved character was a risk, but it ultimately paid off in terms of narrative and character development.

Glenn’s departure was a stark reminder of the brutality and realism that has come to define the world of The Walking Dead. Ultimately, Glenn’s legacy remains a vital part of the show’s history, with his character’s memory continuing to shape the narrative moving forward.

As fans, we can only thank Steven Yeun for bringing the character of Glenn to life so vibrantly and honor his legacy by continuing to support the show’s narrative, even at its most challenging moments.

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