**SPOILERS!** If you haven’t seen Episode 2 yet and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this post!
Entertainment Weekly talked to Showrunner Glen Mazzara about one of the pivotal scenes in Episode 2, which was the scene where Maggie says goodbye to Hershel.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We spoke a while back and you told me there was a scene in the second episode that was drawn from your own personal experience.
GLEN MAZZARA: It’s Maggie saying goodbye to Hershel. My mom passed away this year. She suffered a stroke and there was inoperable brain damage and she lingered on life support for a couple of days. I was about to rush to her side and my father asked me not to. Instead, he wanted me to bring my wife and sons out to New York for the funeral. So it was a lot of tension and a lot of stress on the whole family. And a cousin of mine said that she had said goodbye to a loved one by holding the phone up to the person’s ear because she could not get there in time. So I called my sister and I said, “Do me a favor and just hold the phone up to mom so that I can at least say goodbye. Whether or not she can hear me — she probably can’t — at least I get to say goodbye.” So I said a form of what Maggie said. I said, “Don’t worry. Don’t fight. It’s okay. Just be at peace.” I just felt like she had a long difficult battle with this illness and it was just time for her to go peacefully. But my mom was a real fighter. So I said that, and then we got into breaking this story and I really wanted to dramatize that. One of the things that’s really kind of beautiful about The Walking Dead is that you do deal with high stakes and life and death and grief, and it was very therapeutic for me. It was cathartic to write that scene.
EW: What was the reaction from the other writers and the cast when you put that scene in?
MAZZARA: When we talked about it in the writers’ room, people wondered, “Does that reflect poorly on Maggie? Is she giving up? Is it too bleak? Is it a lack of hope?” And my thought was, no. She’s giving him permission to die, because she really feels that he needs to die peacefully. So it led to some interesting debates in the writers’ room. And I remember Lauren Cohan called and said, “Boy, do I need to say this?” And I said, “Yes, you need to say everything. That’s what I said to my mom.” And she said, “I totally understand,” and she went and did a beautiful performance. And it was just very, very personal and meaningful to me. I was lucky enough to use that scene in a way to say goodbye to my own mother. But havening gone through that experience, it felt like something that Maggie would say so it was a very, very important scene for me.
To read the entire interview click here!