Rick Grimes ended the survivors war with the Saviors by bloodily taking down Negan on Sunday's season eight finale of The Walking Dead.
After brutally slashing Negan's throat with a glass shard, Rick decided to save his enemy's life to bring peace between the warring factions and make an example of his nemesis.
The season finale began with a flashback to Rick and son Carl before the zombie apocalypse and then switched to the Hilltop.
Season finale: Rick Grimes finally got the upper hand over Negan during Sunday's season eight finale of The Walking Dead
There they prepared for the final confrontation with Negan and the Saviors that started with Rick and his group killing a group that had set up a roadblock of walkers.
Negan said he did not like sacrificing his own men as Rick was seen shooting them down, and that he had left a map of his location as a trap.
When Rick and the gang found the map, he took the bait and changed their plan to find Negan.
As Negan drove away Gabriel Stokes bailed out of their car and ran off into the woods.
Neck wound: Negan was slashed in the neck by Rick who allowed him to live
Father and son: The episode opened with a flashback showing Rick and his son Carl before the zombie apocalypse
But he did not get far and as he battled with a giant walker Eugene caught up to him with a pistol and brought him back to Negan.
Negan threatened to punish him with his baseball bat.
But rather than kill Gabriel on the spot he ordered Eugene to put him back in the car.
Ambush plan: Negan shared his ambush plan with Father Gabriel
Under attack: Father Gabriel jumped out of the car but was attacked by a zombie
Gun drawn: Eugene was in pursuit and pulled a gun on Father Gabriel
As Rick and his group marched to the top of a hill they looked back at an endless sea of walkers below them and he was asked if had ever seen anything like that before.
'No things are changing,' said Rick.
Suddenly out of nowhere the group heard Negan's whistle and he began to speak to them as he announced he had ambushed their ambush 'with an even bigger ambush.'
Unseen enemey: Rick and his crew were baited into a trap by Negan
He told them to pick a direction to run to 'make it fun' for him as he told Rick that Eugene and Dwight had 'made today possible.'
'Now he gets to stand up here and watch you all die and he has to live with that,' Negan said of Dwight.
He then told Rick he had Gabriel and pointed a pistol at the back of his head.
The traitor: Dwight was brought out to watch Negan's people destroy Rick's crew
Death imminent: Negan also had a gun pointed at the back of Father Gabriel's head
Negan the counted down from three and a vast line of his armed men appeared on the ridgeline above Rick.
But as he got to one and his men began firing it all went wrong and their sabotaged ammunition backfired, badly injuring Negan's crew.
Eugene's double-cross of Negan allowed Gabriel and Dwight to attack their captors and Rick and his gang advanced on the Saviors as Negan fled.
Weapons malfunction: A line of Negan's men opened fire on Rick's people but their guns exploded
Shooting line: Guns exploded and killed Negan's men as their weapons malfunctioned
As Rick advanced Negan's remaining men asked them for mercy and kneeled before them.
Rick went after an injured Negan who hid behind a tree and was able to surprise Rick and tackled him to the floor.
The men traded blows and Negan quickly got the upper hand.
Trading blows: Negan traded blows with Rick and got the upper hand
'Just so you know that eenie meanie money mo was just bulls***. I made a choice, I just didn't want to kill a kid's dad in front of him, turns out that was the best thing I could have done,' Negan told him.
'If I had done it that kid might still be alive.'
Rick then fought back and told Negan that his 'people were down.'
Beaten down: Rick was beaten down to the ground by Negan
'I'll get out of it, I always do. It's just you and me Rick and you are torn up, I am bigger, I am badder and I got a bat,' Negan said.
Rick pleaded with him to give him 10 seconds to explain how they could have a future.
Negan counted down from10 and Rick told him his son Carl was right they did not have to fight any more.
Ten seconds: The former sheriff's deputy asked Negan for 10 seconds to explain a new future
Negan stood in front of him and Rick took his chance slashing him across the throat with a shank from stained glass that shattered when he earlier shot at Negan and missed.
The Saviors leader sank to his knees with blood pouring from the wound.
'Look what you did. Carl did not know a damn thing,' said Negan as he crumbled to the floor soughing blood.
Swift move: Rick used a shank from shattered stained glass to attack Negan's throat
After a long pause Rick ordered Siddiq to save Negan.
That angered Maggie who had waited for her revenge for Glenn's death.
'We have to,' Rick told them.
Giving up: Negan's people surrendered as Rick bested their leader
Rick then told Negan's gang to put their hands down.
'Negan is alive but his way of doing things is over and anyone who can't live with that will pay the price I promise you that,' he said.
'Any person here who would live in peace and fairness, who would find common ground, this world is yours by right, we are life and that is death and it is coming for us, unless we stand together and go home. Then the work begins, the new world begins.
Surrender accepted: Michonne accepted the surrender of Negan's fighters
Daryl then took Dwight out into the woods to kill him.
Dwight told him he realized why he was there and that he was 'ready to face his punishment for everything he had done.
'I got to see Negan taken down and that's enough. Me? I'm a piece of s**, there is no going back to how things were,' said Dwight as he dropped to his knees.
Natural justice: Dwight was taken out into the woods so Daryl could kill him
'I am so sorry,' Dwight said as he cried.
But Daryl was not ready to kill him and gave him keys to the truck and told him to leave and find his wife Sherry.
At the junkyard Morgan found Jadis and told her that she could return to the community and that Rick 'wants to show people that things can change.'
Second chance: Dwight got a second chance and keys to a vehicle from Daryl
'You don't want to be alone. People, everything is about people. everything in this life that is worth a damn,' Morgan told her.
She told him she would go and Morgan told her that he would remain as he needed to be alone.
At the Hilltop, Maggie told Jesus that Rick was wrong to not kill Negan.
Community outreach: Morgan went and told Jadis that she should join Rick's community
'We are going to bide our time, wait for our moment and then we are going to show him,' said Maggie.
Jesus did not object.
'Yeah. We will,' said Daryl as he appeared in the room with her.
Revenge plan: Maggie objected to Rick's decision to let Negan live and planned on killing him
Group decision: Daryl said he was in favor of killing Negan
Negan was then shown in a hospital bed with his neck bandaged up.
'This isn't about who you killed, we killed people. This is about what you did to us. What you did to so many people. How you made people live for you, how you put people under your boot,' said Rick.
'I saved people,' insisted Negan as Michonne placed her hands around his throat.
Throat grab: Michonne grabbed Negan by his wounded neck after he insisted that he saved people
Rick told Negan he would have a job and would be an example to everyone.
'We are not going kill you, we are not going to hurt you, you are going to rot in a cell,' said Rick.
'For the rest of your life. Day after day,' added Michonne.
Life plan: Rick and Michonne informed Negan that he was sentenced to life imprisonment
'You are going to be evidence that we are making a civilization, something like what we had, something we are going to get back,' Rick told him.
'You alive is going to help show people that things have changed, that keeping you breathing earns another way, a better way, that is the part you will play.'
Michonne told him that 'after all this you are good for something.'
Prayer time: Father Gabriel prayed and experienced an epiphany
The show then flashed back to Rick with a young Carl as in real time he wrote a letter to his dead son
'You showed me the new world, you made it real, I see it, I remember. Dad.'
The Walking Dead in January was approved for a ninth season that is expected to premiere late in 2018.
New world: Rick praised his late son Carl for showing him the new world