The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale Secrets Revealed: Could Glenn Have Been Killed? Why Did Morgan Return?

Gale Anne Hurd and Steven Yeun
The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd said writers didn't consider killing Glenn (Steven Yeun) just to shock the audience. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Glenn's not dead! 

Though The Walking Dead characters are in constant peril, there was at least some relief in the tense season 5 finale — Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) are still alive and well. (Or as well as you can be in a zombie apocalypse.) In fact, none of the show's main characters were killed off — aside from Rick's execution of Pete in front of the whole of Alexandria, and the relatively new but nice-seeming TWD addition Reg Monroe (Steve Coulter).

Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd told The Hollywood Reporter after the AMC hit's finale that the writers didn't consider adding in another death to the episode — say, fan favorite Glenn — for maximum impact. 

steven the walking dead
None of The Walking Dead's main characters were killed off in the season 5 finale. Ben Leuner/AMC
"That's never how we approach things on the show," she revealed. "We don't think, 'What can we build up to and how can we shock the audience.' It really is the evolution of the overall chain for the season as well as character development."

In fact, Glenn's story line really revolved around whether to kill the treacherous, cowardly Nicholas (Michael Traynor) or not — and the fact that he decided not to was important for Glenn. "I’m sure that some of the last things that Noah said to him before he died resonate," Hurd dished to Entertainment Weekly. "And he doesn’t want to become Nicholas. He doesn’t want to become someone who believes that even if someone is trying to kill you it’s okay to essentially kill them in cold blood. Because at that point, Nicholas would have won."

As season 6 begins, the formerly homicidal maniac Morgan — who will return for at least one episode, Lennie James revealed on The Talking Dead — and Rick seem to have found themselves in the other's shoes now that Rick has killed Pete. Hurd said that shifting dynamic will be explored as the new season begins.

"[Morgan is] not someone who really wants to have to kill anyone," she spilled to THR. "When he encounters Rick, it seems to him as if he just killed another human being in cold blood, execution style. There could be some interesting encounters given how their roles have reversed."

morgan the walking dead
Lennie James will return as Morgan for at least one episode in The Walking Dead season 6. Greg Nicotero/AMC
Season 6 will also feature a confrontation with the terrifying Wolves, whom we met in the season 5 finale — "We certainly saw them looking over photos from Alexandria and I doubt that bodes well for [the Alexandria group]," Hurd told EW

As for the upcoming spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, Hurd said she can't reveal how the prequel will connect to the original series. "We're following entirely different characters in an entirely new setting," she demurred to THR.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC later in 2015.

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