The biggest secret in television right now is the identity of the cast member who gets killed off of The Walking Dead when the series returns in October. In the sixth season finale, of course, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is seen delivering a series of blows to an unknown character with his barb-wired baseball bat, Lucille. Despite many attempts to figure it out, we still don’t know who that character is, and in fact, just last week I was expressing surprise and satisfaction that the Internet had not yet ruined the reveal.
Will The Walking Dead be able to keep the secret up until the seventh season premiere airs this October? There’s a potential but unlikely spoiler ahead, so if you don’t want to know, look no further.
The identity of the victim is still unclear, but there are rumors going around that it is, indeed, Steven Yeun’s character, Glenn Rhee, who dies in the season premiere.
However, viewers should not buy into the rumors. Why? Because the rumors are based on two pieces of evidence: 1) That Yeun has not recently been seen on the set of The Walking Dead and 2) that Steven Yeun is currently filming Joon-ho Bong’s big-budget Netflix movie, Okja with Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins and Tilda Swinton.
Both of those things are actually true. Yeun has been retweeting posts from The Walking Dead to throw viewers off the scent, but he’s also posted to his Instagram a few times recently from South Korea.
So, he’s definitely dead, right?
Not at all. Several cast members have not been seen on the set of The Walking Dead, and as we all know, not every cast member is in every episode. Recall that Steven Yeun himself disappeared for about four episodes just last season, which basically gave him a four or five-week hiatus. Cast members have also found time to film other movies. All Eyez on Me, the Tupac biopic, is currently filming with Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie (who also hasn’t been spotted on set recently). Both Maggie and Glenn could be taking a backseat on the series for a few episodes, while the show focuses on other characters in other locations. After all, the seventh season is supposed to go to a new location, The Kingdom, where Carol and Morgan will apparently be.
Norman Reedus has also been in several movies in recent years, and has been out promoting his new AMC show Ride. He’s missed several episodes, or been a minor presence for long stretches on The Walking Dead. Pregnant Alanna Masterson bailed on the last few weeks of the sixth season. Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron, has also had long absences. The show is known for splitting the characters up and filming only a few each episode.
The reality is this: Steven Yeun’s role in Ojka is not necessarily a major one. There are eight actors more popular than Yeun in the movie. The film, which is currently shooting in South Korea, soon will move to Vancouver. Yeun may not even be in the parts of the movie being filmed in Vancouver. Plus, if Yeun were the one that came under Negan’s bat, why would he brazenly post cryptic pictures from South Korea, unless Yeun himself was toying with The Walking Dead viewers?
Maybe he dies. Maybe he doesn’t. Based on Robert Kirkman’s tone when the potential death of Glenn came up in a recent Nerdist podcast, I am inclined to believe that he does not die in the season premiere. Whatever the case, Steven Yeun being in South Korea for a few weeks is absolutely not dispositive. After all, we’ve been here before. The Internet has predicted Glenn’s death on other occasions, but so far, none of those predictions have come to fruition.