POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOLLOW
Fans of The Walking Dead comic book series were thrown a curveball by the television show’s sixth season. In the comic book series, Abraham is killed by an arrow through the head, but The Walking Dead television series instead delivered that death to Dr. Denise. Michael Cudlitz, the actor who plays Abraham, says that decision was made partly because creator Robert Kirkman regretted Abraham’s death in the comics.
“Well, [Robert] Kirkman was never happy with the death Abraham had in the graphic novels. He always said it was sort of a last-minute decision and that he regretted how he took him out,” Cudlitz tells PopSugar. “I think transferring that specific death of the crossbow arrow through the eye to Denise was sort of an Easter egg for the audience who follow the graphic novels. They know what that death should have been, but there's also nothing lost on the television audience by not knowing that. It was a little gift just for them.”
That’s an interesting note in itself for The Walking Dead fans, but what may be even more interesting is Cudlitz considering the ramifications of the decision, specifically that he references this being the world where both Abraham and Negan continue to exist.
“Her death spurs on a whole bunch of other stuff, and then the audience knows that Abraham will continue for a while now,” he says. “Now we get to see what a world with Negan and Abraham both in it will be like. That's something we don't see in the graphic novels. So a lot of cool stuff happens. For me, knowing that his potential death had come and gone, it was a moment to go, ‘Oh cool, they really aren't going to stick with what the graphic novel does.’ As a fan of both the novel and the show, it was cool.
Does this mean that Abraham is officially spared Lucille’s mighty swing? It sure sounds like it, but nothing is official until we see on air.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Oct 23, 2016.