This Episode Made Fans Quit Watching The Walking Dead
When did you stop?
- Many viewers have lost interest in The Walking Dead over the course of its 177 episodes.
- In fan discussions, people mention various points that became deal breakers for them, but one seems to pop up more often than others.
- The death of a favorite character felt like an obnoxious manipulation to the majority of viewers.
Back in 2010 (can you believe it's been that long?), when The Walking Dead aired its pilot, not many people expected the zombie drama to become such a huge cultural phenomenon. And even fewer predicted that it would run for 11 seasons and 177 episodes until the end of 2022.
Unfortunately, from today's perspective, we can say with definitive certainty that the post-apocalyptic series should have ended sooner.
While the first few seasons were hugely successful and saw the ratings go up, at some point viewers began to lose interest and abandon the show. These days, whenever The Walking Dead is brought up in online discussions, you see all kinds of 'oh, I stopped watching...' comments. It seems as if almost no one even saw the finale.
But what made people stop? After sifting through a lot of the comments, we picked out one episode that became the jumping off point for many viewers.
Death of a Favorite
Steven Yeun's character Glenn Rhee had been a regular on The Walking Dead since Episode 2 and was, if not THE favorite, then ONE of the favorites for many viewers because of his loyalty and genuine concern for others.
It was his death that became the pivotal point of the show that caused many fans to lose interest.
In the Season 6 finale, Last Day on Earth, we first meet Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan as the tyrannical leader of the Saviors terrorizing Rick's group. At the end of the episode, he brutally beats one of the group, but we don't know who it is until the Season 7 premiere.
In the premiere, titled The Day Will Come When You Won't Be, the victim is revealed to be Abraham, but Negan doesn't stop there. When the group tries to fight back, he punishes them by beating Glenn's head to a pulp.
That's it. This is the moment that caused many fans to quit watching The Walking Dead. And not just because they lost a favorite character.
Fans explain in the comments that the cliffhanger at the end of Season 6 and the whole 'Abraham followed by Glenn' thing felt like a disrespectful manipulation by the writers.
Even more so since this was not Glenn's first death. In the third episode of Season 6, Thank You, we have another horrific cliffhanger where the character falls into the mass of walkers.
Only four full episodes later, after we've already buried Glenn, is it revealed that he somehow survived the attack, which is pretty unrealistic. So his unnecessary real death so soon after the fake one feels like a slap in the face.
'It suddenly made me realize "oh so you're not telling a story, you're just taking us for a ride,"' a viewer wrote on Reddit, explaining why they stopped watching The Walking Dead after Glenn's death.
And how can you not relate to that?