Fans of the undead were in for a shock with this week's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead. The second season twist left one of the series' main characters, Dale (Jeffry Demunn), dead after struggling to save Randall's (Michael Zegen) life.

Entertainment Weekly sat down with Robert Kirkman, the writer behind the comic that spawned the television phenomenon and the show's executive producer, who revealed some post-apocalyptic insight.

I think it's a monumental death for the show, Kirkman said to EW. Dale's character has been the heart and soul of the show. He's definitely the moral compass.

The writer and producer said that although Demunn and his character will be missed, the decision was made to benefit the show as a whole.

It's really just about how it affects the other characters, he said. Having an amazing ending to the episode and really showing the viewer that this is a dangerous world and anyone can go at any minute and getting the shock value of that is great.

According to Kirkman, Dale was sometimes seen as the voice of reason, provoking thought from other characters on the show.

He had some important things to say before he went, he said. And those things weigh in on people. This is very much going to inform the next episode and episodes after that.

And the late character's qualities are no secret to fans of the zombie-ridden world, who posted their mixed feeling about Dale's death on Twitter.

I'm glad Dale died last night in the walking dead. He wasn't cut out for that kind of work, wrote one viewer.

Last night's Walking Dead was particularly slow. I've never been a big fan of Dale and his Hawaiian shirt anyway, wrote another fan.

Others appreciated the character's insightful qualities, mourning his loss on the social media site.

Walking Dead was interesting last night. I did NOT like what happened to Dale. One of the few voices of reason, posted one fan.

The walking dead was so sad last night. I can't believe dale died: ( what was up with that zombie though?) read another tweet.

But the producer assures that fans should keep watching as the undead thriller takes a new direction.

His loss is going to mean a great deal for all the characters in the show and is definitely going to represent a turn to a darker space, he said. His death means a lot.