Why did Gage actor Jackson Pace leave The Walking Dead?

The Walking Dead Season 11 trailer

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Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 11 episode two.

The Walking Dead’s 11th season is wasting no time in killing off its characters, with Gage (played by Jackson Pace) the latest victim of the zombie apocalypse. As there are 22 episodes still to go before the series wraps up for the last time, fans are wondering why Pace decided to leave the season so soon. His death has set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the season.

What happened to Gage?

After first being introduced in 2018, Gage left the series last night during a shocking twist betrayal.

Separated from the rest of the group and chased down by a horde of walkers, Gage found himself trapped in a train carriage.

With just a door between him and the rest of the survivors, it first seemed assured that he would manage to escape as he had done so many times before. 

However, the door was locked and after a determined Alden (Callan McAuliffe) tried in vain to open it, the decision was made to leave Gage to his fate.

In fact, it was Maggie (Lauren Cohen) who told the rest of the group to leave him, without even attempting to save him herself. 

Maggie’s reasoning was that the group didn’t “have the ammo to clear” the walkers.

It certainly left some unconvinced, with the disturbing moment leaving the group divided.

In the end, Gage took his own life before the walkers could get to him, bringing his arc to an end.

Why did Jackson Pace leave the series?

Making his debut in season nine, Gage has had quite the experience throughout the three seasons he has been a member of the team.

Originally a secondary antagonist, he eventually became a sympathetic member of the group, earning the respect of many of the other survivors.

Star Jackson Pace has not revealed why he left the series, though it was likely a decision made by the writers to raise the stakes of the final season.

As season 11 will be the last in the series, it is assured Gage won’t be the last member of the group to come to a grim end.

With more than 20 episodes to go before the finale, Gage’s death has set the tone for the rest of the season.

Pace has several other projects in the pipeline, with the star next appearing in the comedy High Holiday.

Filming is complete, making it unlikely scheduling conflicts led to the star’s exit from season 11 of The Walking Dead.

His other two projects are the short film The Punch of Respect and the TV movie Vegas High.

Neither have confirmed release dates, though with Vegas High in pre-production it looks likely filming is yet to begin.

Gage’s death has already sent shockwaves across The Walking Dead fanbase, with many frustrated over Maggie’s decision to leave him.

One fan commented: “They literally had all the time in the world to help him.”

Another added: “Maggie: ‘We don’t have enough ammo.’ Maggie’s thoughts: ‘We don’t want to waste the bullets.”

The Walking Dead season 11 is airing now on AMC in the USA and Star on Disney Plus in the UK.

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