It's no secret that there's a whole lot of death on The Walking Dead. In fact, it's right there in the title. It seems unlikely that any TV series outside of Game of Thrones has killed off as many main cast members as AMC's zombie drama; and for those remaining on the cast, the thrill of never quite knowing who's going to die next is a double-edged sword.
Season 6 of the series has not brought any relief from the constant violence so far, with at least one very high-profile death (spoilers, obviously) that may or may not turn out to have actually been a death. After all, the show may occasionally be a bit inconsistent with pacing, characterization, and plotting, but as long as it's consistent with providing all the carnage its fans have come to expect then they'll probably keep tuning in anyway - even if it conflicts with their other Sunday night activities.
For the actors themselves, the deaths and dismemberments are no less traumatic than they are for the fans. In fact, they're probably even more so. Speaking to EW, The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln talked about living through that trauma, for better or for worse:
"As I go along, we keep losing incredible friends and characters. It sort of kills me doing this job — but in a beautiful way. It’s a great story. But every day is unique, and that’s one of the things that keeps me coming back for more and wanting to keep pushing this guy and pulling the rest of the cast along with me to create this broken fairy tale."
Have you ever run into an ex-coworker who was fired from the job and struggled to make polite small talk with him or her? Andrew Lincoln has encountered that, too, with no less than his fictional ex-wife:
"I bumped into Sarah Wayne Callies [who played Lori] and she said, 'How’s it going?' I said, 'It’s still the most beautiful job, but it’s kind of heartbreaking.'"
He doesn't mention what Callies said in response, but one can imagine it being something along the lines of "I meant, like, with your wife and kids, but OK." Since departing the show in 2013, Callies has appeared in disaster movie Into the Storm and is set to play the lead in horror movie The Other Side of the Door, which releases next year.
Though character deaths can be traumatic, there's no doubt that millions of fans will be tuning into the next episode of The Walking Dead to find out which characters survive (for now) and which ones don't.
The Walking Dead continues this Sunday with ‘Heads Up’ @9pm on AMC.