The Walking Dead season seven opened with the gruesome deaths of two fan-favorite characters and that brutality never ceased throughout the first eight episodes. Viewer reaction to the level of violence in the first half of the season was noticeably negative, prompting mixed signals from creative minds behind the series as to whether the show would or would not scale back the violence. Regardless of which direction the show takes when it return next month, star Andrew Lincoln defended the writing choices and assured fans it would all pay off before the season ends in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Lincoln explained the thought process behind creating such a brutal first half of the season.
“[Showrunner Scott M. Gimple] explained it to me in one way, which I found very helpful, which was that rather than just have a very cool exciting buildup to war between between Negan and Rick, he wanted people to want more than that — to really feel that they wanted justice, and then to also acknowledge the cost of what had happened and why they were willing to risk it all again while realizing that they were putting many, many, many lives back in the firing line. I think he really wanted it to feel like the audience, rather than just baying for blood, wanted justice for what had happened. And that, for me, was quite a helpful way of understanding why it had to be so immersive and so painful — certainly for all of us on set and acting in it, but also, I think, for the audience.”
Lincoln stood behind the decisions made by the show’s creative team.
I mean, look, that’s the whole point of when you create something. It opens the discussion, doesn’t it? And ultimately you have your own individual reaction, whatever it may be. And you know, obviously, you don’t want it to be negative, but if you’re endeavoring to make something different and unique and challenging — and hopefully dangerous and new — sometimes it might provoke different reactions from people. And I stand by everybody telling this story, particularly the writers and everybody directing it. I think it’s a very brave, bold, and also challenging story that we’re attempting.”
Lincoln explained he understood the viewer’s desire for immediate action, but assured fans that the season will have a pay off.
“As I said before, people are absolutely entitled to feeling exactly what they want to feel about the show, and it’s interesting the way that people view it differently now. And I know people want to watch more than one episode a week at a time just because it’s kind of compulsive, the storytelling, and they want to know what happens next. And I think sometimes having to wait is a good thing because you get to recap on other things and view it in a different way. Although I would say that this season made a lot more sense once we got the last role of film in the can for episode 716. The brilliant writers that we have take some risks, and I admire them for it. I admire anybody taking risks.”
How do you feel about the tone of The Walking Dead season seven after Andrew Lincoln’s explanation? Does it all make sense now or did the showrunner’s take it too far? Share your thoughts below!
The Walking Dead returns with all new episodes on February 12, 2017 on AMC.
Source: Entertainment Weekly