Sunday's 'The Walking Dead' premiere is more emotional when you know about the heroic last stand hinted at in the episode

Sunday's 'The Walking Dead' premiere is more emotional when you know about the heroic last stand hinted at in the episode
TWD 1103 Callan McAuliffe and Lauren Cohan
Callan McAuliffe told Insider how Alden heroically died in a last stand that's subtly implied on Sunday's "The Walking Dead."Josh Stringer/AMC
  • Warning: There are spoilers ahead for season 11, episode nine of "The Walking Dead."

  • Callan McAuliffe told Insider about Alden's last stand that's implied on screen as he's found dead.

  • You may have missed that Alden's throat was slit and his legs were broken by the Reapers.

"The Walking Dead" fans finally learned Alden's (Callan McAuliffe) grim fate on Sunday's premiere.

After killing the majority of the Reapers, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) returned to the abandoned church where she and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) left Alden on season 11's third episode, "Hunted," only to find it filled with a corpse, one lively zombie, and Alden, crawling across the floor as one of the undead.

TWD 1109 Lauren Cohan and Callan McAuliffe
Maggie discovers Alden in the church where she and Negan left him earlier in season 11.AMC

The last time we saw Alden he was in pretty bad shape, limping with some deep cuts to the gut. But it turns out he didn't die from those wounds.

Alden had a last stand with some of the Reapers off-screen

What you may not have realized while watching Sunday's episode is that it's meant to be implied that some of the Reapers found Alden and he had a stand-off with them, something which is not seen on screen.

"I got pretty grievously wounded," McAuliffe, who hadn't watched the episode yet, told Insider over the phone.

"I like to think that by some miracle, Alden mustered a final burst of energy and managed to, despite some 20 to 30 debilitating and likely mortal belly stab wounds, that he managed to take a full-strength Reaper out with him. If that's not evidence of the virtues of his character, I don't know what is," McAuliffe added.

TWD 1109 Maggie and Alden
Maggie, upset, approaches Alden.Josh Stringer/AMC

McAuliffe, who hadn't seen his death scene in the final episode when we spoke, asked Insider whether or not his character was moaning as a walker because it was supposed to be implied that a Reaper violently slashed his throat.

"On the day of filming, we had a throat slit prosthetic and both of my legs are broken, which is why I'm crawling," McAuliffe said of Alden when Maggie finds him in the church.

"Though I was either dead or near-enough to dead when the reapers stumbled upon me in the church, they saw fit to break both my legs and cut my throat because they decided I hadn't been harmed enough," McAuliffe said of what happened to Alden off-screen. "I don't know if that's clear or not."

It is a bit tough to make out Alden's slit throat in the final episode, but it's clear as day in a photo shared with Insider from AMC.

TWD 1109 Alden
Alden's (Callan McAuliffe) throat has been cut by the Reapers, something that may not have been obvious while watching the premiere.Josh Stringer/AMC

"In the script, it was noted that I was silent because my throat had been cut," McAuliffe explained of why he asked if his walker was making noise or not when Maggie discovered Alden. "If they've given me a gargle — and I would gargle anyway — but they had written silence."

"I'm sure if you look, if there's some angle where the light briefly flashes on the throat, you might see the blood in the prosthetic there," he added.

McAuliffe didn't have a full-face prosthetic

McAuliffe said he "was looking forward to" getting the walker treatment, referring to it as "something of a rite of passage."

"I didn't have to have a full-body or full-face prosthetic of any sort," McAuliffe said of his transformation into the crawling walker. "I didn't have to undergo of that lengthy head molding process that some of the guys for the pike row [on season nine] had to be subjected to."

"I just got a pair of cheek prosthetics to basically make me gaunter and then the throat slit," McAuliffe added, "My makeup was quite minimal."

Showrunner Angela Kang previously told Insider in October that because of the pandemic, they changed up the walker process with screen-printed masks and more digital enhancement.

TWD 1109 Maggie and Alden
Maggie mourns the loss of her friend.Josh Stringer/AMC

"I won't lie. I was kind of hoping that I'd get to go through the whole ringer, but I think Alden had only been out of action for a short while at that point," McAuliffe said of his walker experience.

Of how his death scene turned out, McAuliffe credits episode director Jon Amiel with investing the moment between Alden and Maggie "with a little more humanity than perhaps is typical of the walkers."

"It's like they gave the last light in my eyes a moment on the day to kind of make it even more grim for Maggie," McAuliffe said of his final moments on the show. "Then I die peacefully on her lap in a kind of a maternal way."

The final season of "The Walking Dead" continues on AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Episodes stream a week early on AMC+. You can follow along with our coverage here.

Read the original article on Insider