Negan is the one character on The Walking Dead that many have been both eagerly anticipating, as well as fearing the most. He is one of the most iconic characters from the comics and his reputation precedes him — even for those who are not Walking Dead comic book fans. So just how will AMC cope with bringing Negan to life?
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about The Walking Dead comic books as well as upcoming scenes, story lines, and characters in season 6 of the television version of The Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
As has been anticipated, Negan will show up just in time for the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead. After much hype over who would take on the iconic role, Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast. However, as the recent trailer shows, the people surrounding him will show up a lot earlier. This build up is where AMC excels. So will Negan turn out to be more hype, and less villain, once he finally arrives? According to the showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, the short answer is, no.
“[Negan] just kills, and it doesn’t bother him. He’s the star of his own movie and we’re all Red Shirts,” Gimple recently told TVLine.
But, while Negan is feared, he will be a new sort of terror to greet The Walking Dead, as Gimple explained when asked to compare Negan with the other baddie fans loved to hate: The Governor.
“In my opinion, The Governor is more despicable and damaged. Negan is terrifying in that he isn’t a psychopath. He’s charismatic and funny. And even sort of friendly… He’s not nuts. But you can’t reason with him because he’s got it all worked out… Negan also has a bizarre sense of empathy. He actually recognizes your bad luck in you running into him, yet it doesn’t change a damn thing.”
Of course, with the arrival of Negan, many fans are certain this will signify the death of one of The Walking Dead’s longest standing — and, arguably, most loved — character: Glenn Rhee (played by Steven Yeun). And, considering how many times Glenn has managed to encounter a baseball bat in previous seasons of The Walking Dead (both on friendly, and not so friendly terms), many fans are arguing that the foreshadowing of Glenn’s death by Negan has been happening for quite some time now.
While AMC can, at times, follow the storyline from the comic books the TV show is based on quite closely, there are many times when they stray quite far from the original source material. Sometimes they have even gone so far to have substituted the death of one character with the death of another character.
So is Glenn safe?
Probably for the remainder of season 6, at least. If AMC does want to follow the comics with this storyline, Negan has to show up first in order for Glenn to encounter the foul-mouthed Negan. But, someone else could, in all honesty, replace Glenn when it comes time to have their head caved in with Lucille, the baseball bat Negan has so lovingly encased in barbed-wire.
That certainly could be a possibility, however, Gimple points out that, for fans watching The Walking Dead who have also read the comics, it is more of a “psychological game” when it comes to planning ahead for storylines in the show now. After so long watching the show and learning how AMC and their writers shake things up, it might be time for fans to finally get a storyline that follows the comic book faithfully — or not. Scott M. Gimple was very clear in just how unclear he wanted to reveal things involving Negan’s storyline in season 6, and beyond, of The Walking Dead, first stating, “If it isn’t going to be like that, then what is going to happen? I doubt it’s going to involve flowers. The fact that he’s coming is not going to mean great stuff for Rick’s group.” He then raised the point that if AMC does stick to the Negan storyline from the comics, fans might not actually see that coming as AMC tend to “mix things up” more than they used to.
In addition to the Glenn storyline, another aspect of Negan that is often talked about is his colorful language. While AMC often shows explicit horror and gore, foul language is something not allowed in accordance with FCC guidelines. And, with the arrival of Negan, this might be set to change. In a recent interview with Forbes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan admits that in order to maintain the integrity of the Negan character, AMC will have to push the boundaries a little.
“The plan is to push [AMC] as far as they can because it’s who Negan is… It’s our intention that this character is going to leap off the pages of the comic book. It’s very important that that’s who it is.”
Either way, regardless of what AMC has to say about the upcoming storylines for Negan, his arrival will signify very bad things to come for Rick and his group in upcoming seasons of The Walking Dead.
Are you looking forward to the arrival of Negan in season 6 of The Walking Dead? Or are you terrified of the consequences? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 14, 2016.
[Image credit: Image]