Credit: Gene Page/AMC

And you thought things were bleak before on The Walking Dead. The introduction of Negan will have an impact beyond the mystery cliffhanger death that will finally be revealed when the show returns on Oct. 23. According to star Norman Reedus, the implementation of Negan’s Law will change everything — and not for the better when it comes to our heroes.

As if all that is not hard enough to deal with, the cast members had to head back to that deepest, darkest place to film the continuation of that controversial cliffhanger scene that we will see in the season premiere.

We chatted with Reedus to get the scoop on filming the rest of that harrowing scene, and what else to expect in season 7.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know we’re going to see the continuation of that cliffhanger scene with Negan. So what was it like having to go back and film that and go through all these emotions of losing a cast member all over again?

NORMAN REEDUS: It was exhausting, and it was no fun. You know, we always come back to this show every season, and we’re like, “Yeah, let’s get back into it!” You know, all the actors are excited to be here and see each other and get back into where they were. But this was one of those where it’s like, “Oh, f—. Here we go.” It was definitely not a joyous reunion. I mean, it was nice to see everybody again, of course, but it wasn’t the same as in previous years.

When you have a cliffhanger like that, you’ve got to deliver on the end result and make it worth the wait. So I guess the next question then becomes: What are you guys delivering with episode 701? What can you say in terms of the season premiere?

I mean, it’s a brand new world right now. It’s a complete change of power. Our whole world has been turned upside down, and that group of people have been fighting to have their feet firmly on the ground and have some sort of direction to live in and some sort of code to live by and moral compass, and they thought they were doing it okay, you know? It was hard, and they had to go through things all the time, but they were on a path, and now that path has been ripped from their feet, and things that they believe in are completely different now. The world is completely turned upside down.

These characters have had to deal with a lot of death all the time, but this one in the comic certainly has a seismic impact. What is this death going to do to the group?

It affects the group completely differently. You know, everyone, it affects them differently. Some relinquish power. Some accept it. Some fight it. There are people questioning it. There are people pointing their fingers. There are people blaming themselves. Other things happen that completely destroy people. The group is completely broken apart at this point. Negan has come in and completely shaken up everything. Loyalties are broken, belief in one another, belief in ourselves. Each individual is completely broken, and they don’t all handle it the exact same way.

The Walking Dead returns on AMC on Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET.

For more on The Walking Dead, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, or buy it here. And don’t forget to subscribe for exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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