The Walking Dead fans have been Team Rick or Team Negan almost from the first introduction of Negan and the Saviors. The way the Saviors surrounded and captured the group from Alexandria showed viewers how vicious Negan could be. Of course, his first act of retaliation was to bludgeon both Abraham and Glen to death in one of the goriest scenes ever on the show.
Showrunner Scott Gimple recently spoke with Comicbook to take a closer look at the two leaders. Gimple is quick to point out that in reality, Rick and Negan have a lot in common. Both are leaders that will do whatever it takes to protect their position. While Negan carries a barb-wire covered bat named after his late wife to administer his form of justice, Rick prefers his pistol.
Rick’s backstory is part of The Walking Dead and gives fans a greater understanding of why Rick is the way he is, at this point in the zombie apocalypse. Before the apocalypse, he was a lawman. His trusty gun on his hip, proudly wearing his uniform. As the world began to change, he had to as well. Now, after seven seasons, a civilized society is something of the past, as the lines have blurred. He has led his people and protected them, no matter what it took. Some of the decisions he had to make conflicted with what he actually believed, but the group had to do whatever it took to survive.
As for Negan, The Walking Dead has not shared much of his backstory. He was introduced as a heartless leader that cares about nothing but building an army to protect himself. The Saviors operate under the premise that they take what they want from others through brute force and intimidation. Negan makes the rules and his people enforce them.
The two leaders have very different methods but very similar motivations. Both want to be part of the top community, where they are safe and so is everyone in their ranks. Either would use their weapon without hesitation if they felt threatened or if there was a danger to their way of life. The difference, according to Gimple, is that Rick is in a position to be deemed justified for his actions because he has been forced to become this way, in order to survive and keep his people safe. Negan, on the other hand, joined The Walking Dead wearing a leather jacket, swinging a vicious bat, and with a layer of protection built in with his team of head honchos. Without knowing who he was and only seeing who he has become, fans are quick to be hard on him.
The Walking Dead fans know that Negan is much more ruthless than Rick. At times it seems that Negan has lost most of his humanity. In the all-out war that was started in the Season 7 finale, fans are likely to see some similar internal struggles for the two leaders. Each is fighting for a way of life for themselves and their group. Rick takes a much more personal approach to problems because he knows what it is to love someone more than himself in such a crazy world. For Negan, those days are gone and he has less compassion and empathy.
Season 8 will premiere in October with Episode 100 of the series. The Walking Dead fans can look forward to the first trailer being released at San Diego Comic-Con in July. Though Episode 100 is a milestone for The Walking Dead, creators have said to expect no special fanfare to mark the occasion. The story will stay focused on the war the groups have entered.
Do you see similarities in Rick and Negan? Has your opinion of Negan changed since his first introduction or has it remained the same. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by AMC]