Warning: This article contains spoilers ...

The Walking Dead's season six finale featured one hell of a speech by a barbed-wire baseball bat-wielding Jeffrey Dean Morgan but it didn't necessarily please everyone.

Fans of the apocalyptic show were by and large left disappointed by the cliffhanger as it failed to reveal which of the original survivors on the show was on the receiving end of a brutal bashing.

When Dean Morgan turned up as Negan, he delivered a typically excellent and intense performance but the resultant bashing and the unknown fate of the victim has fans up in arms and almost unwilling to wait until October to find out who his victim is.

Some even set up and signed a petition asking for the show's creators to reveal who died before the seventh season in an "interim episode or webisode".


Executive producer of the show and director of the season six finale Greg Nicotero defended the decision to not show who Negan's victim is.

"The reaction, you know people have every right to feel what they want, whether that is being upset, annoyed or if they enjoyed it but we are comfortable with the direction we went," Nicotero said.

"It's the end of our story arc in season six and when we go back to work in a couple weeks on season seven the story's going to take a very unique turn."

What that turn is could be anyone's guess but the appearance of Negan could simply be foreshadowing a whole new slew of characters in a group named The Kingdom.

If the script stays true to the comic books that would lead to their leader being Ezekial and his pet being introduced. That pet is a tiger named Shiva and Nicotero revealed the tiger is a distinct possibility even if showrunners are unsure how they would bring the animal into play, whether it be real or CGI.

"We've started those conversations and I'm very confident in the path that we've chosen in terms of how we're going to execute that but I don't want to get into it too much," Nicotero said.

Nicotero joined showrunner Scott M Gimple in jumping to the defence of the episode and the show.

Gimple earlier told The Hollywood Reporter he felt that the finale sets up season seven to start completely anew.

"In many ways what we saw last night was the end of the story of [episode] 16," he was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter.

"And presenting what occurs, to show what happened in full-force, is the beginning of the next story."

Gimple added the crew delivered a story that people have enjoyed and asked fans to given them the "benefit of the doubt".

"It is all part of a plan and is all part of a story," he said. "That is the way that it is in our minds."

"I know what 701 is and I feel that it delivers on what 616 sets up."

Actor Norman Reedus, who plays fan favourite Daryl, told Today that he knows what happens, calling it "gutwrenching".

"I know what happens, and it's gut-wrenching to me. I think sometimes people think our show is survivor island and 'Who's gonna eat it this week?'," he said.

"But it's not, and that episode was to show the change of power. Rick goes into that episode real confident, and he comes out of it broken."