AMC's "The Walking Dead" continues to dominate the network rating war as its decomposing corpse shuffles into Season 8. With more bullets and bloodshed than ever before, the latest run of episodes hones in on the tumultuous relationship between Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan.

Things have been bubbling since the start of Season 6, but with both sides now tooling up for a final showdown, someone had better start digging those shallow graves. Fans of Robert Kirman's comics will know that Negan and Rick may continue to have a strained relationship for the foreseeable future, but those who watch the TV show are undoubtedly asking why that bat-swinger isn't walker chow yet.

Rick vs. Negan

The Season 8 premiere sent the bullets flying as Rick and the other communities banded together in a brave attack on the Savior stronghold.

Catching Negan off guard, our heroes had the perfect time to topple the Sanctuary and its leader, but instead Rick decided to play a game of "who's d*ck is bigger" - it's Negan apparently FYI. With a well-armed Rick pointing his gun directly at Negan, many have asked why he didn't shoot him there and then? Well, speaking at Walker Stalker Con (via Comicbook.com) Andrew Lincoln himself was answered the question on everyone's lips:

"We wanted to give them the offer first, you surrender. Obviously, he’s not gonna surrender… We don’t wanna lose any lives, so it’s a big show of force… blow it up, retreat, and use the walker army, which are the dead.

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You will find out in episodes 2, 3, 4 and 5 the whole plan."

Lincoln went on to say that he sent several emails to showrunner Scott Gimple about this exact issue before they shot the episode, and the duo came up with the idea of the compromise. While fans would've undoubtedly loved to see Negan brought down to save the bloodshed, there just wouldn't be much of a show without the season's big bad.

The fight goes on

Rick gave Negan's lieutenants like Simon and Dwight the chance to step down and let their leader perish, but showing a united front, and the Saviors refused the deal. There was then a shower of ballistics, and Negan still made it out alive with little more than a bruised leg/ego. Lincoln's comments make sense to a degree, but I think most people would've just shot Negan in the head and got it all over with. That being said, the Saviors seem to have this mentality that we are ALL Negan, so who knows if someone even worse would take over where the leather-clad psychopath left off.

As the "All Out War" storyline of Season 8 continues, there will likely be many more Negan and Rick face-offs to enjoy, and if only it were as simple as "I'm going to shoot you now." Comic book fans will know how the story ends, and with Season 8 promising to round off the duo's testosterone-filled Civil War, expect the landscape of "The Walking Dead" to change once again. As for Rick sparing Negan, lazy writing or a cunning military strategy? You decide!