Comic fans have been expecting Glenn's death for some time now, but that doesn't mean it was any easier to watch. The difference here is that reading something on a page, even with pictures, is nothing like watching the brutality unfold before your eyes.
Glenn's death stings, and it's going to be hard for fans of the show to recover from this. However, Glenn's death was probably the easiest to swallow.
Since Glenn did, in fact, die at this point in the comics, there wasn't as much of a shock factor involved. It was gut-wrenching to witness Steven Yeun's performance, that's for sure, but it didn't shake you to your core like some of the other deaths in the series.
Think about it like failing a test. You knew when you handed it in to the teacher that you weren't even close to passing, you just knew it. However, there's still that awful feeling when you get it back on Monday, and see that bright red F on the top of the page.
As far as how this decision affects the show going forward, it just means we can probably expect The Walking Dead to keep its story closely tied to the comics.
This was a big moment, that could have gone in multiple directions, but the producers chose to keep it on track with the books. Their reasons for this must be to progress the plot in the same ways as the longtime comic series.
Once Glenn dies, Maggie is propelled into an even deeper state of agony. On top of dealing with her fast-approaching motherhood, she now has to go through the parenting process on her own.
Glenn has been pivotal to Maggie's identity since season two, so now she must figure life out for herself. While trying to decide what kind of woman, and what kind of parent to be, Maggie becomes a leader in the process.
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In order to cope with the loss of Glenn, Maggie takes over the Hilltop community, and leads their people into battle alongside Rick.
While Glenn's death hurt comic readers, it was responsible for setting Maggie up as one of the most important characters in the series. Without the loss, she would have focused all of her energy on becoming a mother, instead of honoring Glenn's memory.
Glenn's death certainly affects Maggie the most, but it also has an impact on Rick and the other survivors.
Negan's choice to kill such a meaningful character is what truly propels Rick to go to war with him. This single event is what shaped entire comic going forward.
While Glenn's death will sting, this was a huge relief for fans of The Walking Dead.