WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 9, “No Other Way,” which aired Sunday, February 20th on AMC.

The Walking Dead Season 11B premiere couldn’t arrive fast enough for fans of AMC’s hit series. The action-packed, stellar first episode delivered and pointed viewers toward the Commonwealth showdown promised in the trailer. Unfortunately, one memorable character didn’t make it out of the hour alive, suffering one of The Walking Dead’s most depressing deaths in a long time.

While Season 11A introduced the Commonwealth community — who will play a major part in Season 11B — its main storyline was aoout how badly the survivors were decimated by the Whisperer War. Season 12, Episode 9, “No Other Way” forced longtime rivals Maggie and Negan to work together so that they could reclaim a food supply from the Reapers. The storyline had personal stakes for Maggie, who wanted revenge after the group had viciously attacked her former home of Meridian — but in Season 11, Episode 3, “Hunted,” the Reapers struck first and dealt her another violent blow.

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The Reapers immediately killed a few of Maggie’s followers from Meridian, captured Daryl and wounded everyone else. After the remaining survivors scattered, the Reapers went about hunting them down one by one, showing that while their plot might be unnecessary they were a very terrifying threat. Maggie was able to defend herself until Negan arrived to save her — but Alden wasn’t so lucky. He sustained two deep cuts in the stomach and pushed on for a while, but it wasn’t long before he became a burden on the group.

As “Hunted” ended Alden made Maggie leave him behind in a church so that everyone else could continue their food-finding mission and save the people back at Alexandria. He didn’t appear in any of the subsequent episodes, so his fate was officially a mystery. But based on the injuries he sustained and the general fact that it’s not good to be alone on a horror show, The Walking Dead viewers were convinced that Alden was done for, and “No Oher Way” proved them right.

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Maggie returned to the church to look for Alden, and when he didn’t answer she suspected the worst. She was immediately confronted by a walker dressed in Reaper’s clothes — and realized that Alden must have died if a walker was inside the church. Just moments later, she saw her friend had also turned into a walker and put him down with her knife. While the death wasn’t dramatic or overly gory, it hit Maggie and viewers hard because Alden had found a place in fans’ hearts over his years on The Walking Dead.

Alden first appeared in Season 8 and showed that not all of Negan’s Saviors were evil. He worked his way into the Alexandrian community, became a blacksmith, was in a relationship with Enid and adopted a kid. Most importantly, though, he and Maggie had developed a trust in each other — so when Maggie saw him dead and knew that she had left him to suffer and die alone, it crushed her. She felt responsible for leaving him to die, even though it was his choice, and Alden’s passing will likely haunt her in the rest of Season 11B.

To see how Maggie recovers from Alden’s death, tune into The Walking Dead Season 11. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC and are available to stream early on AMC+.

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