After The Walking Dead‘s sixth season finale ended with a gut-punch of a cliffhanger, many fans took to social media to express their displeasure with having to wait six months to find out who Negan murdered in the closing moments of the episode.
However, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Robert Kirkman said he does not regret leaving viewers wondering which Alexandrian was on the receiving end of the barbwire-covered Lucille.
“We knew that there would be a reaction,” he told EW. “We probably didn’t anticipate it would be so big, but cliffhangers are supposed to elicit a reaction. I mean, that’s what they’re designed to do. So, to a certain extent, it did its job. It maybe did its job a little too well, but I think people that have invested in six years of the show may not be happy about that cliffhanger, and I think that’s a completely valid response, and I completely respect their opinion.”
He went on to explain that he thinks the ends will justify the means. “I don’t regret that we did it, because [showrunner Scott M. Gimple] and I were trying to tell a story, and that’s what we and the entire creative team decided to do, but it is what it is,” he said. “We’re working that much harder to come back for season 7 and make sure that the payoff is worth the dread of the uncertainty that we’ve given you over the months that we’re on break.”