True Blood Character Death Had to Happen Says Star — Spoilers Ahead!

Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Anna Paquin, Joe Manganiello, Chris Bauer
 John P Johnson/HBO

Warning: True Blood spoilers ahead! Don't continue reading if you're not ready to discuss the latest shocking, deadly plot twist that unfolded on the Sunday, July 6 "Fire in the Hole" episode.

Well, we should have seen that one coming . . . right? After the season seven opener that dispensed with Sookie's best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), last night's "Fire in the Hole" episode continued True Blood's extra-merciless streak this final season, as we said goodbye to another (crazy sexy) fan favorite. The episode began as Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill (Stephen Moyer) await the arrival of Hep V-infected vamps in the woods; Sookie admits to her vampire ex that there's a fatal imbalance in her current relationship with seemingly perfect (werewolf) boyfriend Alcide (Joe Manganiello): He loves her more than she loves him, and wants to start a family.

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After Bill offers some optimistic advice, the Hep V vamps arrive to kidnap Sookie and nearly kill Bill—until Alcide and Sam, in animal form, save his life. In the melee, hillbilly vigilantes plus Andy, Jason Violet and Jessica all arrive (in separate contingents, of course)—and Alcide and Bill argue over Sookie. It's during this tense exchange that Alcide (naked) is shot fatally in the chest by a vigilante.

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The death of Alcide was bittersweetly foreshadowed in last week's episode, as he suggested to Sookie that they save themselves by driving their pickup truck out of Bon Temps forever. She declined.

"I don’t know how to make it more suspenseful than that. I get shot in the head by this random character whose name I don’t even know and die naked in the woods," Manganiello told Entertainment Weekly, adding that he knew he was a goner before he even read the script.

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"What are you gonna do with Alcide if he’s with Sookie? We’re gonna have a nice wedding and take off for Bermuda, then move away from town and stay there and have babies? That’s not the show," he reasoned. "The fairy has to be with the vampire, so you gotta get the werewolf outta the way. You can’t have her break Alcide’s heart, because then people won’t like Sookie—they’ll get mad at her for breaking the good guy’s heart. So it’s the only choice you have, really—you gotta kill him."

The Magic Mike actor, 37, added self-deprecatingly: "If you’re looking for characters to kill, it’s not like any other characters are gonna cry for Alcide because nobody knew him . . . it’s the perfect character to kill off."

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His set souvenir? "I took my [c—k] sock," the oft-naked Manganiello said. "I’m gonna frame it and put it up in my guest bathroom. That’s a fun piece of memorabilia."

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