If you haven’t seen the most recent episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, then I suggest that you stop reading right now because I’ll be talking about a pretty big part of the episode that is considered a *SPOILER*. This is your last chance to turn back, so don’t say that I didn’t warn you if you decide to keep going.

We’ve lost a lot of good people (and some not so good people) over the past two and a half seasons of ‘The Walking Dead’. In the most recent episode, we lost the last remaining prisoner of the West Georgia Correctional Facility when The Governor paid a surprise visit and shot Axel right in the head while he was in mid-conversation with Carol right before a truck full of walkers infiltrated the gates and were let loose in the yard. Though Axel was a little creepy at first, the audience was really starting to warm up to him, especially after that little conversation between he and Carol. It was certainly hard for us to take it, but apparently it was just as hard for Glen Mazzara to pull the trigger.

According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the outgoing showrunner had a tough time killing off Axel in the most recent episode, ‘Home’. Here’s his thought process behind the death:

“That was a really tough choice because we had to have the Governor exact some revenge. If he just shot up the prison without resulting in someone’s death it would have looked completely impotent. So now you start looking at characters and which character is going to go. And we evaluated almost every character — is it time to kill this character or that character? Unfortunately, the axe fell Axel’s way. It was tough because there may have been more story with him. I think we were just finding that character. I loved what he added. It was just that someone had to go and that was a really, really tough choice. That was something that I wrestled with almost more than say, Lori, because I knew we were getting story out of Lori’s death. So this was a different kind of death that was tied into the existing story but it didn’t prompt further story. I did really feel that loss. That was a tough one. I wish…. I didn’t see another way out of it.”

As a storyteller myself, I can completely understand where he was coming from. Also, the group is so small right now that any death would have had a big impact. If only they kept Tyreese and his group, then maybe one of them could’ve been used in Axel’s place, but that’s not how things turned out.

Mazzara also notes that if Axel hadn’t been killed off, then he thinks that things would have developed between him and Carol. Fans of Daryl who think that he should have a romance with Carol may not like that, but it’s not like it can happen now anyway.

Will you miss Axel/Lew Temple from The Walking Dead? How did you react to his death in last Sunday’s episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below!