It’s now been over a month since The Walking Dead ended its sixth season with a finale and cliffhanger that a vast majority of its fans absolutely hated- to the point where some have launched a petition drive aimed at resolving the cliffhanger early.
The episode, which ended with newly arrived villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) swinging his barbed-wire-covered bat at one of the show’s protagonists- although which of them will remain a mystery until Season 7 in the fall. Now, the creator of the show’s source material has weighed in.
In a “letter hack” published along with Issue #154 of the Walking Dead graphic novel this week and posted to Reddit, creator Robert Kirkman- also an executive producer and occasional writer for the series- writes about the “furor” online following the cliffhanger, and states that getting the audience to talk and speculate online was part of the point:
The speculation, the frustration, the possibilities, the theories … honestly, in my mind … that stuff is FUN. I honestly feel like that’s something fun for the fans to do during the break. Was it Spencer? Could it have been Morgan? What about Carol? Did Negan Kill Jesus?! (Note, none of them were there … I’m not giving ANYTHING AWAY.) I know people are angry over this, but that wasn’t our intent. The idea was that after 6 seasons of a show, we wanted to stay on your mind and give you something to talk about.
See the full letter here:
We’re living in an age when creators and other creative people behind TV shows give interviews and have fan interactions all the time. The Walking Dead, after all, even has a weekly after-show on AMC. But if fans were looking for a member of the show’s creative team to give away the resolution of the cliffhanger, or disavow what happened on his show, well, that wasn’t too likely.
Sure, it’s also not too likely that any Walking Dead fan still irate over the cliffhanger will be in any way assuaged by Kirkman’s letter. But it's pretty certain those fans will be back in the fall to find out who it was that Negan hit.
The Walking Dead will return for season 7 on AMC in fall 2016 (most likely October).