The Walking Dead Star Opens Up About Shocking Exit

The Walking Dead killed off a major character in Sunday night's episode. Fans of the comic saw the death coming, somewhat, but the twist on its execution was a well done piece of writing by showrunner Angela Kang. Still, such a moment is typically reserved for later in the season, as Episode 10x12 will be followed by four more new hours of the AMC zombie series before taking its summer break. The pace of the show, however, clearly called for the moment to be executed ahead of the season finale, which may have added to the surprise for viewers, but left its star feeling fulfilled.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 10x12 follow. Major spoilers!

The Walking Dead Episode 10x12 would prove to be the final appearance for Samantha Morton as Alpha. Morton debuted in the show's ninth season, portraying a menacing villain, but was one of many to bow out in the Walk With Us episode. Her death came at the hands of Negan, to the character's surprise, more than comic book fans and Morton. "I kind of always knew because when I was in discussions with [showrunner] Angela [Kang] under the early stages if I potentially was going to play Alpha, it was very clear that this character would have her head chopped off," Morton told Insider. "I always knew. Yeah, I just knew."

Kang was very forward in how the role would play out for the actress. "Very early on I knew my story arc...So, that wasn't a surprise," Morton said. "I knew I was going to die by my head being chopped off by Negan, yes. And I suppose as a show, you get your episodes each week when you're filming. And you're like, 'Oh, that's happening then. And that's happening then.' And this year is just different because we have to shoot out of sequence. I think you probably know that. So, you just had to be really on the ball about what you were doing and when. But, yeah, I knew."

For Morton, the moment coming so far ahead of a finale or beyond a premiere was not tremendously surprising as she was simply going script to script and playing her part. "I suppose my history, I've done a lot of television, but I've done, I suppose, more movies," Morton explained. "And so when you're doing something, I don't look at what episode something happens in. I'm part of the bigger picture and I think when you're in The Walking Dead, the show is bigger than any one individual character. Does that make sense? So I wouldn't know what that means or doesn't mean. Or I suppose in a way, maybe that's really great to the show. You don't know what else they've got up their sleeve."

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC.