Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead's season 8 finale 'Wrath'.
Viewers might not have been happy, but Andrew Lincoln and comic creator Robert Kirkman defended the choice on Talking Dead, so be warned, we're about to get spoiler heavy after the photo.
Unlike with the killing off of Carl, The Walking Dead season eight finale 'Wrath' ended up following the comics as it saw Rick slit Negan's throat, before deciding to save his life and let him "rot in a cell" to follow Carl's wishes for a better future.
Lincoln explained that Rick realised "what he's about to become" if he killed Negan, leading to his controversial decision.
"In that fleeting moment, that's when he decides, 'If I continue with this, if I don't try to save this man's life, it's over'. So I think it is ultimately a story about restraint rather than revenge and love rather than hate, which has always been integral to our show," he outlined.
Kirkman added that the moment is a "huge turning point" for Rick as he finally realised that he "has to choose a different way".
"Every major conflict in the history of The Walking Dead has ended with a huge death or someone dying and this is him choosing life. This is him turning over a new leaf and deciding there's a different way forward," he added.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US and on FOX and NOW TV in the UK.
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