The Walking Dead killed a pair of beloved characters in last night's season premiere. When Negan killed first Abraham and then Glenn, we asked ourselves if they had gone too far. After all, Glenn had just escaped what we thought was certain death just last season. Episode director and executive producer Greg Nicotero says that the brutality of the death was the point. "That means we have done something to affect these people in a way that they don't know how to process," Nicotero said on a conference call on Monday, per Vulture. "If you kill a character and nobody cares, that means we haven't done something to connect our people to the characters. It's unfortunate that people want to take a negative spin on it, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm dedicated to watching a show because I want to see where the story goes next." Nicotero made clear that he sees this season as a battle between Rick and Negan. The death, essentially, wasn't about Glenn. Poor Steven Yeun, he doesn't even get to own his own death. "We really needed to drive Rick and Negan’s story throughout the season and we felt that one death would do the trick, but the second death, Glenn’s death, really, really propels us into a very different direction," Nicotero said on . "It’s really about Negan laying down the law and saying, 'Listen guys the bottom line is if you listen to me, you’ll be fine, but if you step out of line, that’s not going to fly.'...It just made for a more rich overall story arc for a lot of these other characters." We have to agree. The fact that a show that kills people as a matter of course was able to get any reaction at all for a character death is worthy of praise. While we feel bad for Yeun and his bank account, killing Glenn is as close as the show can come to ripping out the viewer's heart while the show can continue to function. Rick, for better or worse (worse), is the main character. And now he'll square off with Negan.