The Walking Dead star on last night’s shocking twist and what comes next

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Jan 25, 2016, 4:21 PM EST (Updated)

If you thought The Walking Dead was going to settle down now that the gang has arrived within the seemingly safe walls of Alexandria, think again. 

Massive spoilers ahead for last night’s The Walking Dead!

Last night’s episode, “Spend,” went a long way to set up Tyler James Williams' Noah as a major character moving forward — only to immediately kill him off in one of the most gruesome and shocking deaths this gruesome show has ever attempted. Seriously. Just, wow. It was ugly. Just when it looked like there was no way out, it seemed like Glenn and Noah had caught a break thanks to the (surprise!) bravery of Eugene.

But alas, Noah was snatched from safety by a horde of zombies and gutted (literally) as he cried for help while Glenn looked on helplessly. Williams talked with The Hollywood Reporter about his surprising exit, and said he actually figured it out a while earlier thanks to a deleted scene that never actually made it on the air:

“I had read a scene in episode 511 where we'd all gotten to Alexandria and were sleeping in the house for the first time. I don't think this scene made it in and this may be why: Rick laid a blanket over Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Noah and for some reason, that tipped me off. I went, ‘That's it, I'm dying!’ There's no reason why he would do that; Noah is not his child. Noah means something to him, so they're going to kill me and that's it. I spread that rumor around set to pick people's brains. Norman was saying, ‘There's no way! You haven't been here long enough to die, you have to have some time here first for people to fall in love with you and then that's when you go.’

I felt it and a few days later, [showrunner] Scott Gimple called the rest of the cast to give them the news, he was prepared for a bunch of, ‘Aww, that's sad!’ But everyone knew and said I knew already. I was a fan of the show beforehand and as much as I love Noah and was his biggest champion, I had a feeling the kid had to go! There was too much damaged caused by his introduction. You don't stay around long in this world when that happens. The moment when they made him part of the run crew and he can't run? That was going to be how that happened.”

As for what comes next? Williams said Noah’s death will have a major impact on Glenn moving forward, which isn’t much of a shocker. The two had obviously gotten close in a short amount of time, and it seemed Glenn saw a right-hand man in Noah that he could work with leading this search team. Watching him get ripped apart alive? Yeah, that’s gonna leave some (emotional) scars:

“It's going to be huge. When you look at Glenn's trajectory and where he's been, he's one of the few characters to come into world without a family. We don't know much about what he lost in the world beforehand. He's been quickly adapting to this world. Relationship-wise, he's been building them possibly better than he did beforehand. He's never actively lost someone that he's tried to save. The way Steven pulled it off when he knocks Nicholas out — you see what's in his eyes; this is going to rock him.

We'll see Glenn in a place where Rick was a few episodes ago — being kind of ruthless and ready to go. Once we got to Alexandria, we knew something was going to happen and that the group would probably take this place. I didn't know it would be Noah's death. I don't know what's coming but I feel like Glenn is going to lead the charge to take this place. I think this is going to be one of the few times where Glenn steps out of Rick's shadow and goes for it. He's done losing people — and losing them for stupid reasons.”

What did you think of Noah’s death? Did you see it coming?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)