The first half of the current cycle saw both Abraham Ford (played by Michael Culditz) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) beaten to a pulp by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his bloodthirsty baseball bat Lucille, while Spencer had his guts ripped out of his stomach.
In turn, the scenes sparked a massive number of complaints from viewers, while UK TV watchdog Ofcom launched an investigation into the gruesome action.
Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd recently suggested the level of violence will be stripped back when The Walking Dead returns next month, but fellow showrunners Scott M. Gimple and Greg Nicotero have said otherwise.
"The violence in the premiere was pronounced for a reason," Gimple told Entertainment Weekly. "The awfulness of what happened to the characters was very specific to that episode and the beginning of this whole new story.
The Walking Dead bosses refuse to tone down violence in season seven
The Walking Dead series 7
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I don't think we would ever edit ourselves
The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero
"I don't think that's the base level of violence that necessarily should be on the show. It should be specific to a story and a purpose, and there was a purpose of traumatising these characters to a point where maybe they would have been docile for the rest of their lives, which was Negan's point."
Nicotero added: "As brutal as that episode one was, it's still part of our storytelling bible, which is what the world is about.
"I don't think we would ever edit ourselves, and – even after looking at that episode one again, as tough as it was for people to watch – I don't think we would have done it any differently.
The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero said bosses will 'edit' themselves
Abraham Ford's death sparked a huge number of complaints among the Walking Dead fans
"I don't think we'll ever pull ourselves back. There is definitely a difference between violence against walkers and human-on-human violence, but truthfully, we're serving our story."
Lennie James, who stars as Morgan Jones in The Walking Dead, recently revealed to Express.co.uk that at least two more characters will die in season seven, while Norman Reedus teased that Daryl Dixon is “ready to kill” menace Negan.
The Walking Dead returns to FOX on Monday, February 13 at 9pm.