LOS ANGELES – Warning: This story contains spoilers about “The Walking Dead” Season 7 premiere.
Death comes to “The Walking Dead” probably more often than the rain comes to Los Angeles. But on Sunday night, as Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) swung his bat upon his first victim in the show’s Season 7 premiere, the heavens opened up over Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
After a screening of the Season 7 premiere, “Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick joked, “the heavens are crying.”
The cast was, too, at times. Almost all the major players gathered at the screening for a live, 90-minute episode of “The Walking Dead” after show to say goodbye to two cast members — Steven Yeun, who played gold-hearted Glenn, and Michael Cudlitz, who played master of the one-liner Abraham.
“I think Glenn died in a very Glenn way … still not thinking about himself,” Yeun told the “Talking Dead” crowd.
Glenn was the second of Negan’s on-screen victims.
The villain, who debuted on the show late last season, first took his beloved barbed-wire covered bat — nicknamed ‘Lucille’ — to Abraham’s head. The graphic scene drew screams from the crowd.
Afterward, Daryl (Norman Reedus) attacked Negan, who took Glenn as his second victim.
Glenn’s final words were to his wife, Maggie (Lauren Cohan): “I will find you.”
Reedus, who affectionately wrapped an arm around his former costar Yeun during the character’s “Talking Dead” memorial package, said Daryl will feel tremendous guilt over his part in Glenn’s death going forward.
“He feels really responsible,” he said.
The scene in the premiere played out somewhat similarly to how it did in the comic book version of the storyline — at least when it comes to Glenn. The comic character famously met his end in issue No. 100 at the hands of Negan.
Yeun, who has been on the show since the start, remembered reading that and thinking it was “iconic.”
“I think I even said [to Kirkman], ‘Don’t give that to anyone else,’” he said.
The show has been known to play with key moments from the comic books and play them out in different and surprising ways.
In this case, however, Kirkman said the plan for these deaths had been in place for about 2 years. They “set the stage” for a lot to come and he saw them as a sign that the show is not slowing down any time soon.
After the deaths, there is a lot that “has to be resolved,” he said.
Cohan said the departure of characters who were “pillars” has “changed the dynamic on the show.”
“It was a whole new frontier for us,” she said of filming without Yeun and Cudlitz.
Cudlitz, who has been on the show since Season 4, said he felt like his character had been living on “borrowed time.” But he was ultimately happy with Abraham’s larger-than-life send off and final line (“Suck my n–s.”).
“I thought it was awesome,” Cudlitz said. “I think it’s very, very appropriate for him to go out that way.”
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on AMC.
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN