'The Walking Dead' season 9 premiere ended on an unexpected shock and fans are applauding the decision

Jackson Lee Davis/AMCMaggie shows a different side to her character early on season nine.

Warning: There are massive spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”

New showrunner Angela Kang is bringing AMC’s “The Walking Dead” back to its roots. So much happened in the first episode of the season nine premiere that you may have had some serious season one vibes.

Without much time spent on the road, the series was able to focus on its ensemble cast and bring them back together in multiple locations at Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Sanctuary.

It all culminated on a grim note for one member of “The Walking Dead” family. Even if you are familiar with the comic books, you probably didn’t anticipate seeing a big name fall this early on in the show.

Last chance to head back before spoilers.

Gregory maggie 901 walking deadJackson Lee Davis/AMCShow Maggie is a mother out for blood.

After assuming leadership of the Hilltop from Gregory in an election, Gregory is hellbent on gaining back control of his former community from Maggie.

Gregory sees an opportunity when one of the Hilltop community members gets killed on an excursion to Washington, D.C. He tries to have Maggie assassinated to resume responsibility over the community once again. His plan unfortunately goes awry and Maggie decides she’s had it with Gregory and he’s hung in front of the community.

How it goes down in the comic

Gregory does his dirty work himself in the comics. Over the course of several issues, its revealed that he tries to poison Maggie.

The biggest differences? Maggie actually consults Jesus and says they can’t kill Gregory. It’s not until she realises how much of an actual threat he is to the peace at the Hilltop that she decides to have him hanged.

Gregory death walking dead comicSkyboundIt’s more difficult for Maggie to make this decision in the comic.

Maggie holds the hanging at a tree in the following issue.

While we expected this storyline to play out this season, we were a bit surprised to see it all go down on the first episode of the new season.

So were viewers.

But the majority were in agreement that it was time for Gregory to go.

On aftershow “Talking Dead,” new showrunner Angela Kang addressed why Gregory was killed off in the season premiere and not episodes down the line. Kang said she didn’t want his death dragged out.

“I think usually this is the type of story we would build to over the course of the season, except this is a story we’ve been building to for a long time.” Kang said. “We always knew we were going to have this moment from the comic book and we just kind of said, ‘OK. Where does this fall?’ And it’s like, you know what? Let’s just put the pedal to the metal and get it over with. The audience knows who this guy is. Maggie knows who this guy is. It’s a pretty quick decision for her.”

Some people are a little nervous about where Maggie is heading from here on out.

And they’re right to be, according to Kang.

“The arc that comes out of it, it’s like a domino effect that ripples out from this incident on into many episodes afterwards,” Kang added about Maggie’s decision to kill Gregory.

You can read more on what Greg Nicotero told INSIDER about the decision behind Gregory’s swift death on the season premiere here.

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on AMC at 9 p.m.

You can follow along with our “Walking Dead” coverage all season long here. Sign up for our “Walking Dead” newsletter, which will be sent every Monday morning throughout season nine, here.

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