Tragic Episode Made Viewers Give Up On The Walking Dead

Tragic Episode Made Viewers Give Up On The Walking Dead
Image credit: AMC

Every journey has a breaking point.


  • The Walking Dead became a huge media franchise, releasing 11 seasons during its original run.
  • However, many viewers stopped watching the show long before the finale aired.
  • The reason seemed to be the change in approach to storytelling, and one episode in particular highlighted this.

The Walking Dead celebrates its 14th anniversary this October. And for most of those years since the pilot's premiere, the show has been churning out new installments. This long journey has resulted in 11 seasons, 177 episodes, and the worldwide fame of The Walking Dead franchise, which continues to roll out new spinoffs to this day.

For many original fans, however, the Walking Dead trip ended much earlier than the show's finale finally aired in November 2022. If the first few seasons were a huge success, this global phenomenon that everyone was waiting for and discussing, at some point viewers started to lose interest and drift away.

These days, whenever The Walking Dead pops up in social media discussions, there's a flood of comments like, 'Oh, I bailed ages ago…' So what made people drop the AMC zombie series? And when exactly did it happen?

After going through many of the fan discussions, we've picked out one episode that not only became the jumping off point for many, but also perfectly illustrates what was wrong with the show.

Messy Death

By its very nature, The Walking Dead had a lot of deaths in almost every episode. But there was one that didn't sit right with absolutely everyone. Steven Yeun's Glenn Rhee had been a part of the series since Episode 2 and was a favorite character for many viewers. He was loyal to his friends and always cared about others, which made his death all the more unbearable.

The Season 6 finale marked the first appearance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, who was introduced as the tyrannical leader of the Saviors and psychopath terrorizing Rick's group. In the final moments of the episode, he brutally beats one of the group members. And original viewers had to wait a year to find out who that was.

In the Season 7 premiere, the victim is revealed to be Abraham, but Negan doesn't stop there. When Rick and his team try to fight back, he punishes them by viciously beating Glenn's head to a pulp.

Tragic Episode Made Viewers Give Up On The Walking Dead - image 1

That's how a fan favorite died, and that's when many viewers decided to quit The Walking Dead. Some didn't even watch the episode to the end. And not just because the loss of Glenn was so unbearable.

Emotional Manipulation

Glenn's death highlighted the biggest concern that a lot of viewers had about The Walking Dead going into Season 7. The whole 'who is Negan's victim?' cliffhanger and the subsequent emotional rollercoaster with two major deaths felt like a cheap trick.

Especially since this was not the first time we said goodbye to Glenn. In S6E3, the character falls into the walker mass and only four full episodes later shows up alive and somehow healthy with no real explanation as to how he managed to survive.

So when Glenn died again just a few episodes later, it was too much even for those who weren't his fans. Instead of giving the character a realistic death at the hands (and teeth) of the walkers, the writers dragged out his arc to create unnecessary suspense.

This made fans realize that the show's writing had long ceased to be about storytelling and had gotten a single purpose - to take viewers for a ride. A ride they didn't want to take.

Did you watch The Walking Dead until Glenn's death?