Following the death of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), The Walking Dead is venturing into some pretty scary territory.
Not only did Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) ruthlessly break Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in the Season 7 premiere, but he also took Daryl (Norman Reedus) hostage and threatened to kill more members of Rick’s group if they don’t comply.
While fans wait anxiously to see what Negan will do next, Morgan sat down with the Hollywood Reporter and opened up about Negan’s violent behavior.
Unfortunately, things are only going to get worse for Rick and company.
“That first episode is a good indication of what’s to come,” Morgan shared. “… It’s not over for Rick. Negan is just starting the breaking-in process of Rick. We have all come to love Rick Grimes for how determined he is and Negan recognizes that as well. He’s going to stay on top of Rick for a while to make sure it sticks.”
Fans are well acquainted with Negan’s violent side, but Morgan revealed that he doesn’t view his character as a villain.
During a YouTube interview with Extra TV (below), Morgan admitted that discerning good from bad is a very difficult thing in the Walking Dead universe.
Sure, Negan has done some pretty awful things to Rick and his group of survivors, but they have done their share of bad things as well.
The difference is that fans have grown to love the members of Rick’s group and now view them as the good guys.
“Just because we’ve been following Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon and their crew for the past seven years, they’ve become the heroes of the show,” Morgan shared. “But if we’d been following Negan and the Saviors for the past seven years and how he became the leader of these people, then he’d be the hero of this show.”
Morgan continued, “We’ve seen people we love on this show do some horrible things over the past six years. And so far, we’ve seen Negan tap a couple people with a baseball bat (laughing). It’s two sides of the same coin, really.”
Aside from the violence, Morgan explained how fans would see more of Negan’s charismatic side in future episodes.
This is something that attracted fans to Negan in the comics, though it isn’t clear if the same thing will happen on the show.
Meanwhile, a big question looming over this season centers on what Negan plans on doing with Daryl.
The Walking Dead fans were undoubtedly happy that Daryl survived the premiere, but he didn’t come out without a few regrets.
According to Hollywood Life, Daryl blames himself for Glenn’s death and the guilt will be a major obstacle moving forward.
“I think he totally feels guilt. I think the weight of that is so heavy on him at that point,” Reedus told Chris Hardwick during The Talking Dead. “I mean, initially shock, but I think that he’ll never let that guilt, he’ll never release that from himself. I think he feels really responsible.”
There’s no doubt that Daryl’s actions led to Glenn’s death, but he’ll definitely have bigger things to worry about this season.
Namely, whatever Negan has planned for him.
According to Cinema Blend, Negan plans on breaking Daryl and then turning him into his right-hand man to help lead the Saviors.
“Negan admires that Daryl hit him and sees him as someone that could be a good right-hand man,” Morgan revealed. “His intention is to break Daryl and have him become one of his guys, which makes sense.”
Considering Daryl’s history with bad guys, there is a strong possibility that he and Negan strike up a lasting bond, especially after Negan breaks him like he did Rick.
Of course, a similar thing happened to Carl in the comics, so it isn’t clear if Daryl is replacing Carl’s storyline on the show.
Whatever happens, Daryl has a lot on his plate this season and will have to walk a tight line if he wants to make it through this season alive.
To make matters worse, Negan is also planning on using Daryl against Rick, just in case he thinks about resisting Negan’s rule.
“After what Negan does in that lineup, he knows where he’s got Rick at a certain point. But he sees something in Daryl and is going to take advantage of that. It’s a chess game and Negan is going to do anything he can to get the advantage,” Morgan explained. “Negan having Daryl makes Rick think, too. Negan is playing a couple cards, and you can look at it a couple different ways. Negan always has a couple balls in the air and Daryl is one of them.”
Fans can watch Rick and his group deal with Negan when new episodes of The Walking Dead air Sunday nights on AMC.
[Featured Image by AMC]