The Walking Dead: Why Does Glenn Rhee Not Kill Humans?


Surviving on The Walking Dead sometimes means making compromises.  Because of that, we’ve seen characters on the show do things that we didn’t believe were possible for them.  For example, taking the life of a fellow human being is something that crosses the line of humanity.  It changes everything about a person to take that step in survival.

And that’s why it’s interesting that over the course of 5 seasons of The Walking Dead that Glenn Rhee hasn’t killed a single human being on-screen.

It’s not like Glenn hasn’t had the opportunity.  He has appeared in 55 episodes of The Walking Dead through season 5, which is the second most only to Rick Grimes, who has been in 59 installments.  Glenn may not kill humans, but he has absolutely no problem taking out walkers.  In fact, Glenn holds the record for most zombies killed in a single episode (49, season 5 episode 11) and is in third place in overall kills throughout the history of the show (129 total kills).

There were several times where it looked as though Glenn would take his first human life.  For example, the incident with Nicholas outside the walls of Alexandria was one point where he could have easily killed someone, but he decided not to.  During The Walking Dead’s panel at Wizard World’s 2015 Comic-Con International in San Diego, California this week, Steven Yeun (the actor who plays Glenn) was asked why he believes Glenn didn’t kill Nicholas.  Here is how he replied:

"“He’s got beautiful eyes. Glenn is a better person than me. I also said, ‘Why didn’t you kill him?’ It’s complicated. It’s layered in the sense that Glenn is seeing a version of himself in him. [He] realizes what it means to cross that threshold… It serves no function in that moment to kill him.”"

Glenn Rhee, The Walking Dead - AMC
Glenn Rhee, The Walking Dead – AMC /

Personally, I think Steven is absolutely right.  Although season 5 was about being broken down to your weakest point and finding out how to react to it, Glenn proved to be a stronger character than many others are by not succumbing to the urges to kill Nicholas.

And this isn’t the first time Glenn has been in this situation. There have been numerous times that he’s been threatened or someone he loves has been in danger and he has chosen not to kill.

Why do you think that Glenn has made the decision not to kill humans?  Do you think it’s a sign of his strong character or is he mentally too weak to do what needs to be done?  And will this be something that could be detrimental to the team in the future?  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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