The Walking Dead: Greg Nicotero Explains Major Finale Death Decision

The Walking Dead Season 10 finale had less of a body count than many fans have been trained to expect. The major characters who are considered to be part of the main family which the series follows did not get out of the Whisperer War's conclusion completely untouched but it was a much safer episode for characters which the fans adore than many other season ending episodes. That said, the body count did pile up in some ways, and director of the episode Greg Nicotero shared some interesting perspective with ComicBook.com about how one of the more brutal deaths came to life.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 finale follow!

The Whisperer War more or less ended when Alpha was killed but the aftermath feels a bit like an epilogue as the remaining Whisperers lead by Beta came crashing down on Team Family. Now, the dust has officially settled, as the group's former second-in-command was killed off when Daryl shoved two giant knives into his eyes and Beta became one with his horde. As it turns out, part of Beta's sendoff being carried out in such a fashion was the idea of none other than Daryl actor Norman Reedus.

"Well, that was a big kill for Daryl in the episode," Nicotero says. "Norman had pitched that idea. Norman had said, 'Oh, I just should come up with both of my knives and stab him in the eyes. Part of the story arc there is that Beta can't die from those stab wounds. Norman's knives are f-cking 12 inches long. We sort of justified it in our heads that because he stabbed straight down it's like the knives go down, they don't go back into his brain, they go straight down. We made a dummy head of Ryan with pullouts. So he did that straight shot where you see the knives being pulled out."

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(Photo: Jackson Lee Davis / AMC)

Hurst, however, wanted to see his character going swinging a bit more.

"But there was a lot of talk about it because Ryan really wanted Beta to continue to fight after that," Nicotero revealed. "Norman had his thoughts and Angela [Kang] and Corey [Reed] had very specific beats because Norman was like, "Yeah, I should just stab him and he should die." I thought the stabbing in the eyes was an interesting idea and I believe it was Norman's. We needed to sort of tell moment that Beta sort of comes to the horde and becomes part of everything that he had been imagining for the last several episodes, which was that the horde was sort of guiding him and it was this weird destination. I really thought it was a really cool way to resolve that character and give Beta's story a great end."

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The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs Sundays at 10pm ET, following new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead at 9pm ET. The Walking Dead will return for 6 more episodes in Season 10 in the spring. The 11th and final season of The Walking Dead will begin airing in the Fall of 2021.