Here's how I suspect The Walking Dead publicity machine works: someone at AMC gets wind of a rumor that's picking up speed among the fans, and they send out creator Robert Kirkman to spark more frenzied discussion by dropping a vague-yet-kinda-specific hint that MAYBE confirms what we've been suspecting all along.
At least that's what appears to have happened this week, since Kirkman did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and specifically addressed the unconfirmed story that we're going to lose an original Walking Dead cast member in season 5.
Potential spoilers ahead!
If you've been keeping up with the latest Walking Dead scuttlebutt, you know that there's a story circulating that Glenn is going to die in season 5. Here's what Kirkman has to say about the fact that people are freaking out about this possibility:
I absolutely love it. It means people care and people are paying attention. So keep those rumors flying!
He was then asked point-blank what the likelihood is that there will be major fatalities on the early side of season 5:
It's always highly likely, though I wouldn't say that it's any more likely than it ever is, but it is always extremely likely. We did pull back on the reins a little bit at the end of season four. We're definitely going to hit the ground running for season five and we really don't let up very quickly at all. It's going to be a pretty fast-paced, intense season.
That is a masterful non-answer, but I'm going to assume he's telling us that after the relatively safe pudding-eating vibe in the back half of season 4, familiar heads are gonna roll. Compared to the original storyline, this would be early to lose Glenn, but he's as likely of a candidate as anyone -- excepting Rick and Carl, of course.
Kirkman will also neither confirm nor deny that Seth Gilliam has been cast to play Father Gabriel:
Seth Gilliam's character -- whoever it may be -- brings a lot of conflict and really cool character traits to the mix.
(But come on, he totally is.)
Last but not least, Kirkman says we can expect some new faces in season 5 ... possibly to fill in cast holes after he ruthlessly slaughters some folks:
We're always going to be cycling through characters, as I like to say in an ominous and foreboding kind of way. If we're not bringing new blood into the mix then we'll eventually run out. So we're definitely going to be bringing some new blood into the mix and always moving forward.
So what do you think, fans? Are we going to be saying goodbye to Glenn?
Image via AMC