Michael Cudlitz Says Abraham Sacrificed Himself to Save Sasha

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Now that we know Abraham was the first to die under Negan’s baseball bat, actor Michael Cudlitz says Negan’s choice was not as random as it appeared.

While most of the talk surrounding Sunday’s Walking Dead premiere concerns Glenn’s gruesome death, it was Abraham that actually took the killing blow seen in last season’s cliffhanger.

Now that the dust has settled, actor Michael Cudlitz is free to give his take on Abraham’s shocking death. On Monday, Cudlitz took part in a conference call with ComicBook.com.

Abraham’s Defiant Posturing

“So far as the eeny-meeny-miney-mo, I think that he was gauging the group,” said Cudlitz. “I said this earlier. I do think that Abraham did definitely stand up and literally with a ‘f**k you, take me.’ That’s him sacrificing himself for the group to protect Sasha, because he feels like that is what needs to be done. He would give his life to protect anyone in this group obviously.

“As anyone, if you have children, it’s the same feeling. I think he feels that he had taken care of these people for a very long time and you are willing to sacrifice yourself for your children. It’s not demeaning anyone else in any way, it’s just saying the love he has for this group is the same as a parent to their kids, and he’s literally willing to die for his brother. He has become a soldier in arms with all of these other people, and he is literally willing to give the ultimate sacrifice.”

As Negan said, Abraham took the attack “like a champ.” But was Negan’s choice to kill Abraham really random? If you paid attention, you’ll notice that Negan was a little loose with his recital of “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.” He said entire phrases to some people and passed others with just a single word. So it’s entirely possible he picked Abraham for a reason.

Negan and Abraham on The Walking Dead
Image Credit: AMC

A Not-So-Random Choice

“So far as from Negan’s standpoint, I think it’s a chess game for him,” said Cudlitz. “You have to figure, who do you take out? Do you take out the strongest guy to make a point and show that you will take out anyone? Do you take out the weakest to show that you don’t care, which makes you even more twisted in a way? What do you have to do to this group to have the biggest effect? Do you take out the biggest guy, who actually could be an asset to you? It’s interesting.”

Negan’s Fascination with Daryl

Cudlitz also talked about Negan’s decision to take Daryl prisoner. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Abraham had punched Negan instead of Daryl.

“What he sees as a biggest asset, the kind of personality that he likes best was ultimately in the end is he is intrigued by Daryl,” said Cudlitz. “He wants to know what makes Daryl tick. If you look at his group, they all fall in line … There’s definitely a biker element to it. There’s more of an element of not conforming and you can see that Daryl fits more with his group probably than anyone in our group, just from a physical standpoint. You wonder what’s going on there. I think he wants to see what makes him psychologically tick.”

Negan’s Choice or Abraham’s?

Whether it was really the producers’ intention or not, Cudlitz is certain that Negan chose Abraham for a reason. And that Abraham did his best to make sure he was the one to be chosen.

“Eeny-meeny-miney-mo was deliberately directed at each different person so Negan could greet them, figure them out, look in their eyes and see who he was dealing with, and he did it quite effectively,” said Cudlitz.

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