The Walking Dead’s Season 7 premiere was unforgettable on a lot of levels but, for many, the violence of it has been the most talked about aspect. Abraham actor Michael Cudlitz is well aware of the comments from critics and fans but stands by the episode which contained his character’s last breathes of the series.
Abraham’s head was brutally bashed in by Negan’s baseball bat in after he had spent a trio of seasons making Walking Dead fans fall in love with his distinct speaking habits and eagerness to protect the group. It was these qualities and the relationship fans developed with Abraham as a result which prompted the outage according to Cudlitz.
“These deaths were not anymore gruesome,” Cudlitz told “These are just people that you loved and that made it feel worse. It’s exactly what happened. You can’t tell me that my head getting smashed in was worse than Noah getting his guts ripped in glass turnstile.”
The Walking Dead featured violent deaths both before and after Abraham and Glenn’s, as Cudlitz points out.
“Or the guy before [Noah], that we didn’t know at all, who impaled from behind and was literally holding his guts,” Cudlitz said, in reference to Aiden, an Alexandria who suffered a brutal fate shortly after his introduction. “Or Spencer literally holding his guts.”
“All of those are way more, quote, ‘gross or graphic,'” Cudlitz said. “Ours was so bad because it was drawn out and you were teased and these were characters that you loved. Nobody in that group would have been okay to see go. So yeah, that’s exactly what it is. You love these characters.”
More of Cudlitz perspective will be available on commentary tracks and featurettes attached to The Walking Dead: The Complete Seventh Season on blu-ray, available August 22. Still, he is not the only actor to have spoken about the unforgettable Season 7 premiere.
Steven Yeun’s Comments
Cudlitz’s comments are completely in line with those Glenn actor Steven Yeun made at Walker Stalker Con in Nashville over the summer.
“I actually found out I was going to die about wo years before it happened,” Yeun said. “It was like, not talked about. It was unsaid but it was understood that we were gonna do what we were supposed to do. I advocated for that, too, because it could’ve been just me rationalizing it, what was inevitable, but at the same time, you look at that journey and you realize that is marked in such a dramatic way in the comic that to change it, I think is a cheat.”
As fans know, The Walking Dead TV series did not change Glenn’s death by comparison to the comics — at all.
“I think it was a lot of things,” Yeun said. “People think it was the gore. It was gorey but it wasn’t any more gorey than anything that qwe’ve shown before. I think what it was was just watching someone that you feel like you know getting killed that way and getting killed in a way that was not like, ‘Oh man, look at Noah getting ripped up,’ which is gnarly but it was just happening to him, whereas, in this instance, it was just like, ‘You could’ve stopped but you’re just gonna keep going and you’re gonna rub it in.'”