'The Walking Dead': Michael Cudlitz Explains Why Characters Gain Popularity After They Leave

Fans of The Walking Dead always liked Sgt. Abraham Ford but, since the character's tragic death at [...]

Fans of The Walking Dead always liked Sgt. Abraham Ford but, since the character's tragic death at the hands of Negan last season, he has become a bit of an icon for the franchise.

Michael Cudlitz, who portrayed the beloved hero on the AMC series, is a favorite among fans of the show, with people constantly flooding his booths at panels at conventions all around the world. This weekend, at Fan Fest in Portland, Cudlitz took the stage to entertain those in attendance, and he was asked about life after being written off.

Why do characters like Abraham get more popular after they've been killed off? According to Cudlitz, it's because the fans finally have the chance to see how important they really are.

"They almost all grow after they have left the show because I think that's when people look at your character and think of you on your own, when you're no longer with the group," Cudlitz explains. "We start saying, 'Oh, I miss Hershel. What would Hershel do now?' Or, 'Could you imagine if Merle were around during this?' We sort of infuse the characters after they leave into situations now as opposed to seeing everyone who's there. I think they grow their own popularity after they leave because everyone always wonders what that character would do. They realize, 'Oh, Maggie's going through a lot of stuff right now, how would she process that with Glenn?' It's interesting, and you guys do that. You take it to this whole other level and we feel it on our end, so it's pretty humbling."

Cudlitz portrayed Abraham for a total of 38 episodes over the course of three years on The Walking Dead, and was killed during the Season 7 premiere, when fans learned that he was the head on the receiving end of Negan's bat. He did appear one more time however, as Abraham was a major part of Sasha's flashback scenes just before her death in the Season 7 finale.

You can watch the entire clip of Cudlitz from Fan Fest Portland in the video above.

The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.