Throughout its six seasons, The Walking Dead has proved itself to be a show that excels in shocking viewers with graphic violence and emotional tension. The first episode of the seventh season, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” which aired this Sunday, has again demonstrated the show’s capacity to pull gut punches.

Before this premiere, however, we were left with the sixth season’s controversial finale in which Rick and several other main characters were captured by the new big baddie, Negan. Fans hyped up the finale because the iconic villain was finally going to be revealed and, according to the comic book series, which the show has somewhat followed, one main character would be executed by him.

Well, Negan indeed executed one character. However, no one got to see who the character was. Instead, we were given the perspective of the unknown individual who had fallen to Negan’s bat, Lucille. This spawned a variety of memes concerning the death of one fan-favorite cameraman.

Many fans were disappointed by the finale’s cliffhanger. This disappointment manifested itself into a social media uproar, with angry fans tweeting harsh messages toward the show’s Twitter account and demanding to know which main character Negan had executed. People even went to the extremes of investigating who had been killed off and creating diagrams to show what position the cameraman was sitting in when Negan selected his victim.

Now, after months of theorizing, we finally know who was executed.

As I mentioned earlier, The Walking Dead is known for delivering shocking moments and the season premiere was the most gut-wrenching, brutal episode so far.

The episode picks up where the finale left off — some of the strongest in Rick’s group, including Rick, Michonne, Carl, Daryl, Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Maggie, Glenn, Sasha and Aaron are on their knees crying after Negan just finished the execution.

What follows is a descent into madness as Rick is dragged into the group’s beat up RV by Negan and taken away into a zombie-infested zone where Negan instructs Rick to fetch a hatchet that he just threw into a hoard of the undead. It is not only a physical test, but a psychological one; Negan wants to make sure Rick understands that he is Negan’s property now.

Throughout this sequence, Rick recalls what transpired moments ago at the camp that his group is still being held at. We are transported back to the sixth season finale, and we finally get to see who Negan killed — Abraham.

Abraham does not flinch when chosen; he just kneels and looks at Negan as the bat’s first blow comes down onto his head.

“Suck … my … nuts,” Abraham says, letting out one last breath before Negan pummels him to death.

This moment left me stunned because Abraham was my favorite character on the show, and also because his blossoming relationship with Sasha was beginning to change him for the better.

Negan jeers at the group, mocking Abraham’s final words. He steps in front of Rosita, Abraham’s ex-lover, and tells her to look at the blood on his bat. Daryl Dixon takes offense and manages to punch Negan.

This prompts Negan to discipline the group one last time at the expense of one of the most beloved characters on the show, Glenn. He looks at his pregnant wife Maggie one last time and struggles to say goodbye as Negan’s first blow has already damaged his skull to the point that he has trouble speaking.

“I’ll find you Maggie.”

Even though Abraham was my favorite, this is the death that really stung — and it is the part of the episode that devastated fans. Many viewers thought only one character would be executed in part because the comic book only showed the execution of one person. Because Abraham was chosen, many — including myself — thought that Negan would stop there. This was unfortunately not the case.

At the end of the episode, Rick is taken back to the group and ordered to chop off his son’s arm with the hatchet he retrieved earlier. Rick and the group plead with Negan to spare Carl, but he demands that Rick continue with the act. A broken and incoherent Rick raises the hatchet to do the deed, but Negan tells him to stop and explains his reaction of fear is enough.

“You answer to me, you provide for me, you belong to me,” says Negan, making it known to the group that the world they live in is going to change drastically.

If you, like me, were one of the many fans who became upset at the show’s cliffhanger finale last season, then I think it’s time to accept that the wait was worth it. We have received one of the most hard-hitting episodes in the show’s history. Rick is no longer in charge.