People learned Negan killed Abraham in The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere in a number of ways. Some read spoilers, either on purpose or by accidentally scrolling too far in a comment section. Some heard it from friends. Over 17 million people saw it live on October 23.
Cudlitz, who played Abraham Ford on AMC's The Walking Dead for a trio of seasons, got word of an imminent meeting with the showrunner and immediately suspected his time was up. The actor opened up about the moment during a poolside Q&A onboard the Walker Stalker Cruise over the weekend.
"I was up visiting my son at college and I got a phone call, 'Scott [Gimple] wants to meet with you next week when you come back. Scott hadn't met with me in two years," Cudlitz said. "I was like, alright, I'm dead. Let's call Scott and confirm this."
Cudlitz immediately got to the bottom of it.
"So I called Scott and said, 'Hey, uh, we're supposed to have this meeting next Tuesday. Are you killing me?'" Cudlitz said. "He said, 'Ha! Ha! Why would you? Ha! Well... maybe."
None of it came as a surprise for Cudlitz, though. "I knew that we were gonna met people from other places, other worlds, that they've created," Cudlitz said. "I knew a lot of other characters had to come in and I knew we had to lose some people and they were sticking closer and closer to the graphic novel so it's a good chance it's gonna be me."
From the beginning, the plan was to kill the two core characters upon Negan's introduction but the choice of when to see them off was finalized a bit later.
"At the time, he said it would be both me and Steven [Yeun] but he wasn't sure if it would be at the end of Season 6 or the beginning of Season 7 mostly because he didn't know if they would be able to keep it a secret that long and the only way that would've worked was if they really went for it," Cudlitz said. "They decided that we would go for it and it sort of worked. I was kind of expecting it, because Abraham's story had already been told so far as the graphic novel."
Ultimately, Cudlitz says he "was cool with it," and expressed gratitude towards being a part of the series having been a fan of The Walking Dead prior to being cast.
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The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead's third season does not yet have a premiere date but with The Walking Dead finale set for April 2, expectations for Fear's return are set for April 9. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.