The Walking Dead has returned for season 7 and the premiere episode was the bleakest instalment in the show's history.
First appearing in the 100th issue of Robert Kirkman's graphic novels, the character of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finally made his debut in the AMC series' season 6 finale - and more than made his mark as one of the most fearsome characters of all time.
Everyone involved with the show has teased that Negan's arrival marks a new era for The Walking Dead - and the season 7 premiere has cemented this notion in horrific fashion.
These are the most traumatic acts committed by the character in episode 1:
*Beware: major spoilers follow - and when we say major, we mean major*
1 | Negan kills Abraham
Someone had to go, and the moustachioed Sgt Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) was that character. We see a shell-shocked Rick (Andrew Lincoln) recollect the 'eeny meeny miny mo' scene from the season 6 finale with the additional tag on of Negan bashing Ford's brains in, his friends powerless to stop. "Suck my nuts," the character says, remaining the Abraham we know and love right 'til the end. Taking a small break to laugh at his victim's final quip, Negan proceeds to continue working away at his head with Lucille.
2 | Negan makes Rosita stare at Abraham's battered head
You can say what you like about Negan but he's a very switched on man. With the other ten characters left visibly shaken by Abraham's brutal murder, Negan notices Rosita (Christian Serratos) - his former love interest - in particular refusing to look at his corpse. "Oh damn," he says. "Were you two together? That sucks." Waving the blood-soaked baseball bat in her face, he demands she look at what's left of his skull. Well, right up until Daryl (Norman Reedus) throws a punch at him, which leads to the below (brace yourselves).
3 | Negan kills Glenn
Now, this one I can't believe I'm writing. Just when fans assumed the other characters were off the hook, the new antagonist strikes again as punishment for Daryl's punch - this time on an unsuspecting Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). "So - back to it," he exclaims before raining down on him in front of his horrified wife, Maggie (Lauren Cohan). "What, are you still there?' he taunts a dying Glenn, depravedly. "I just popped your skull so hard your eyeball just popped out!" The nine others watch on as Negan murders him, just after poor Glenn attempts his final words: "Maggie, I'll find you."
4 | Negan makes Rick cut Carl's arm off... almost
He wasn't stopping there. Not convinced Rick yet understood he was no longer in charge, Negan summons Rick Jr himself, Carl (Chandler Riggs). Announcing the "grand prize game," he draws a line on Carl's arm and gives Rick three seconds to cut it off. If he doesn't? Everyone will die. The only thing more disturbing than seeing a spluttering Rick begging Negan to stop is how he's one second away from doing it - just before Negan intervenes: "That is the look I wanted to see." Job done - Negan's his master.
5 | Negan kidnaps Daryl
This is the one that's going to make the group's revenge a hard prospect. Making Dwight (Austin Amelio) load Daryl into a van, Negan threatens that if his group's not obeyed, he will force Rick to mutilate his one-time right-hand man until the Saviors get what they want. "Welcome to a brand new beginning, you sorry shits," Negan says as his group disperses leaving behind two corpses and eight quivering wrecks.
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
The most shocking Walking Dead moments
1/10 Sophie's a walker (season 2, episode 7)
Much of season two's opening half is spent looking for Sophia, the missing daughter of Carol (Melissa McBride). Turns out she was locked up in Hershel's barn as a zombie all along.
2/10 Shane reanimates without being bitten (season 2, episode 12)
When Carl (Chandler Riggs) guns down a deranged Shane (Jon Bernthal) to protect his father, the shock arrives when he manifests into a walker despite not being bitten; turns out everyone's infected with the virus and will turn whichever way they die.
3/10 Axel's bullet to the eye (season 3, episode 10)
A character introduced in the show's prison arc, Axel is a reformed prisoner who strikes up a friendship with Carol - until he's gunned down mid-sentence.
4/10 Carl kills Lori after she gives birth (season 3, episode 4)
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) goes into labour at the very moment a zombie siege breaks out at the prison. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it through the procedure with her son Carl being the one to put a bullet to her head.
5/10 The Governor slays Hershel (season 4, episode 8)
The Governor makes his dramatic return for a showdown at the prison after he captures Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Hershel (Scott Wilson). Rick reaches out, attempting to reason with him - but The Governor starts a war when he proceeds to decapitate poor old Hershel instead.
6/10 "Look at the flowers" (season 4, episode 14)
In a standout episode from the show's fourth season, Carol is forced to take drastic measures when young teenager Lizzie murders her sister Mika in the belief that she'll live on as a zombie. Realising Lizzie's depraved mind would endanger those around her, Carol puts a gun to the young girl's head and, telling her to "look at the flowers," pulls the trigger, fighting back the tears.
7/10 Carl's bullet to the eye (season 6, episode 9)
Season six returned from its mid-season break in typically dramatic fashion when an iconic moment from the graphic novels came to life: Carl takes a bullet to the eye.
8/10 Beth is killed (season 5, episode 8)
Upon being kidnapped, Beth (Emily Kinney) is taken to Grady Memorial Hospital managed by Atlanta Law Enforcement. Forced to reside there against her will, the group - including Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) - eventually find her - only for her to be accidentally shot in the head by her captor. The worst thing? Her sister Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had just arrived outside.
9/10 Negan kills Abraham
Season seven opened in brutal form as we discovered it was Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) at the opposite end of Negan's baseball bat. "Suck my nuts," the soldier growls as the Saviours' leader brings Lucille raining down on his head until nothing remains but a pulpy mess.
10/10 Negan kills Glenn
Negan decides to punish the group once more after getting clocked round the face by Daryl. Without expectation, he thwacks Lucille round the head of poor Glenn. With his eyeball popping out of his head, he manages: "I'll find you, Maggie before Negan proceeds to finish the job ending the former pizza delivery boy's life.
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