It’s no secret that the biggest, baddest villain in the Walking Dead universe is Negan, as the hype involving his appearance in the season 6 finale of the hit AMC show has been unavoidable. Nevertheless, the question remains as to whether the massive amount of buzz around the phrase “Negan is Coming!” will raise viewer expectations too high to make the entrance of Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) arch-nemesis a let down?
— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) April 2, 2016
Not so, say a number of high profile cast members, who have publicly touted the arrival of Negan and his barbed wire covered baseball bat, Lucille. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Lincoln called the debut of Negan on The Walking Dead“…the greatest entrance ever written.” Lincoln noted that executive producer Greg Nicotero directed the season 6 finale, which Lincoln believes is one of the best episodes yet.
In an earlier interview with EW, Lincoln said that after discovering what would take place in the season 6 finale, he was sick.
“I felt sick to my stomach when I read the script. It was the first day in the whole six years of working on The Walking Dead that I was late for work because I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was so angry and frustrated and I felt sick. And that was just after reading it.”
Lincoln also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, saying the finale episode is “one of the most thrilling… I don’t think we’ve ever done what we do in this season finale before.” He added that the script is “hard-core.”
— TV Insider (@tvinsider) April 3, 2016
Danai Gurira, who portrays the kitana-wielding Michonne, told THR that the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead is “…epic, it’s harrowing. I think it redefines finales. I can’t tell you how it goes but it truly redefines it. I don’t think we’ve ever seen one like this.”
Melissa McBride, who plays the fearless and somewhat complicated character Carol on The Walking Dead, has also talked about the finale script and how it impacted her. McBride told ComicBook, “It was so dark… I couldn’t say anything after I had finished reading it. I had dropped into a black hole.”
— IMDb (@IMDb) March 28, 2016
When Lauren Cohan, who plays the now-pregnant Maggie, spoke to EW, she stated the day the cast shot the finale was difficult.
“[It was] the hardest day on set that I’ve ever had in my life… I never imagined that as an actor you could have that experience… I didn’t want to go to work that day. It took a really, really long time for everybody to feel okay again after the finale, let’s put it that way.”
Cohan spoke with THR as well and said she really had no way to explain the finale, noting, “…all I know is it leaves you in the most uncertain place that you’ve been with the show.”
— Lauren Cohan (@LaurenCohan) February 10, 2016
Clearly, the darkness, the devastation, the heavy hearts, and the sickness the cast has so publicly mused about surrounds big bad Negan and the manner in which he enters their Walking Dead world. For those who have not read The Walking Dead comics, he is a frighteningly ominous presence whose first encounter with Rick’s group is brutal, heartless, and nothing short of gut-wrenching.
Steven Yeun pic.twitter.com/PeKy8U1ti1
— twd b&w (@twd_bw) March 27, 2016
A spoiler for the uninitiated is that in the comic book version of Negan’s first encounter with Rick and his posse, Glenn (Steven Yeun) is the recipient of unforgiving blows to the head courtesy of Negan’s baseball bat. Glenn is horrifically slaughtered in front of the group, including Maggie, as they helplessly watch the beloved character murdered.
The man chosen to portray this most infamous character Walking Dead character, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, told EW regarding Negan’s debut on the show, “I don’t know if fans are going to be ready for it, to be honest with you.”
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) April 1, 2016
So, it seems, the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead will probably more than live up to all the hype surrounding it. Negan is not only a long awaited character, but is a force that is needed because he will move the show’s “story forward more than any character since Rick Grimes woke up in the hospital,” according to Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Negan has his own savage code, but yet he’s quite practical and logical, lacking any sort of sympathy or empathy, reports Cleveland Plain Dealer. He does what it takes to survive and is willing to massacre anyone who gets in his way.
The highly anticipated 90-minute season 6 finale of The Walking Dead entitled “Last Day on Earth” is obviously not one fans want to miss, and airs Sunday, April 3, at 9 p.m. on AMC.
[Photo via AMC]