At the height of TWD’s popularity, the sixth season took a dramatic left turn with the introduction of sinister new villain Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Negan led a group of fanatical survivors known as the Saviours, and immediately made his mark when he appeared in episode 16, Last Day on Earth.
After Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his team made a move against the Saviours, Negan punishes them by killing an unseen character with his trusty bat, Lucille.
When the series finally returned in season seven, it was revealed that Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) had been bludgeoned to death in the season finale.
Michael Cudlitz continued and speculated the brutal sequence may have contributed to The Walking Dead’s gradual decline in the ratings.
He explained: “They said, ‘Oh, my gosh, it was the most graphic brutal death. It was murder porn.’ All this stuff.
“‘The fact that I think you loved Abraham and Glenn so much as an audience, that’s what makes it more brutal, and you sort of think, ‘Oh, okay. Oh, my gosh. It was Abraham. We’re sad that it was Abraham, but thank God it wasn’t Glenn.’”
Glenn’s youthful optimism was a key factor in earlier seasons of TWD, and proved a star-making turn for Steven Yeun.