As grim as The Walking Dead has frequently gotten over the past decade, it turns out the hit series could’ve been a lot darker. A lot.
During a far-ranging Reddit AMA on Wednesday, creator Robert Kirkman was asked how the story changed from what he originally envisioned. “The story has evolved and continues to evolve,” he acknowledged. “Originally my idea was that they live in a high school for a while … that changed to a prison very early on. There were characters that were going to die very early on … but didn’t, and vice versa.”
But then the writer returned to what remains, after all of these years, one of the comic’s most memorable scenes: the death of Shane in Issue 6.
“I honestly considered killing RICK in issue 6 and making the comic about Carl having to grow up with this guy he saw kill his father,” Kirkman revealed. “But in the end, I decided against it. That was never the plan, but it was a thought that popped up that I entertained while I was writing issue 6.”