The Walking Dead has never been afraid of killing off its main and supporting characters, both in its television adaptation and its original comic book format. That ruthlessness on creator Robert Kirkman’s part is also what helped the series stand out from some of the other iconic zombie properties and titles that had come before it, instilling The Walking Dead with a never-ending sense of tension and terror. From getting their heads bashed in with baseball bats by Negan, to being eaten alive by zombies, characters both big and small have gone out in often unexpected and brutal ways over the years.

However, The Walking Dead comic books have been noticeably less bloodthirsty towards its main characters as of late. While it may have looked like more characters were being set up to be taken out too, creator Robert Kirkman has just released a statement hinting at the exact opposite of that.

Spotted in the Letter Hacks section of issue #163 (H/T Comic Book), Kirkman talked about what he expects from the series’ future, and apparently, that includes less main characters bowing out than ever before. While that might appear strange for fans of the comics, Kirkman’s logic on the matter is sound:

“In my opinion, there should be less death in the book now, much less, because the careless people, the scared people, the people learning how to live in this world are already dead. This is the cream of the crop, so to speak. So, yes, there can be a conflict like the Whisperer War, and there can be very little death. You think Michonne is going to just let herself get bitten by a zombie or stabbed by a Whisperer at this point? It wouldn’t be believable! Rick, Andrea, Carl, Jesus, Dwight, Negan, Maggie, these people are tempered steel! That’s not to say they’re invulnerable, or ‘safe’ now but it would take a lot to kill them.”

the walking dead whisperer war image 2 The Walking Dead Will Have Fewer Character Deaths From Now On

Kirkman’s statement comes in response to many fans’ shock and comments about the unusually low amount of character deaths in The Whisperer War story arc. Despite running for six issues and having plenty of opportunities to increase its body count, the war itself only really led to one big character death, although it was an admittedly very brutal one. But Kirkman makes a fair point, that even though there can still be large conflicts and wars, the intelligence and survival instincts of the remaining survivors are so fine tuned at this point, that it would be strange if they did somehow die at the hands of a walker, or even a horde of them.

What exactly this means for the future of The Walking Dead, however, will have to wait to be seen. Without the possibility of characters dying left and right, at the drop of hat now, it’ll be interesting to see how Kirkman and co. plan on drawing out and creating conflicts moving forwards. This change could have effects on the TV series as well, which has struggled at times to find a continual level of tension and dramatic weight without resorting to killing off its characters. This is a bit of a surprising twist on Kirkman’s part, who is notoriously ruthless with his characters, but one that could systematically change the feel and dynamic of its characters and stories from here on out, possibly even for the better.

NEXT: Walking Dead Core Back Together In Season 7.5

Source: Comic Book

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