The premiere of "Walking Dead" season 7 was brutal for many fans. The violence that played out on screen was tough to take for some viewers, and the resulting backlash led producers to talk about possibly toning it down in the second half of the season.

But star Andrew Lincoln, who plays leader Rick Grimes, told Entertainment Weekly that he stands by the storytelling choices in the show.

"[Showrunner Scott M. Gimple] explained it to me in one way, which I found very helpful, which was that rather than just have a very cool exciting buildup to war between between Negan and Rick, he wanted people to want more than that," Lincoln said, "to really feel that they wanted justice, and then to also acknowledge the cost of what had happened and why they were willing to risk it all again while realizing that they were putting many, many, many lives back in the firing line."

Lincoln acknowledge that some viewers were put off, but "if you're endeavoring to make something different and unique and challenging — and hopefully dangerous and new — sometimes it might provoke different reactions from people. And I stand by everybody telling this story, particularly the writers and everybody directing it. I think it's a very brave, bold, and also challenging story that we're attempting."

The actor also promised that the season makes "a lot more sense once we got the last roll of film in the can for episode 716." Keep the faith, "TWD" fans.

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