‘The Walking Dead’: Jeffrey Dean Morgan On Negan Respecting Carl Grimes, What He Sees In Chandler Riggs’ Character In ‘TWD’ [Spoilers]

The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 8 is titled “Hearts Still Beating” and airs on AMC this Sunday. The midseason finale will have Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) continuing to make himself at home in Alexandria. As fans recall, he seems to have taken over Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) home, family, and is even using Olivia (Ann Mahoney) to make him some refreshing lemonade. Viewers are wondering what Negan sees in Rick’s son, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). Out of all the members of the group, why has the villain shown a special interest in Carl? Recently, Jeffrey Dean Morgan answered that question in an interview.

TWD spoilers are ahead. Do not continue reading if you don’t want to know any information about the television show. There may also be spoilers from Robert Kirkman’s comic books.

'Walking Dead': Jeffrey Dean Morgan On Negan Respecting Carl Grimes, What He Sees In Chandler Riggs' Character In 'TWD' [Spoilers]
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 7 - [Image by Gene Page/AMC]

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Chandler Riggs spoke about the conflict Carl is experiencing. On one hand, he is attracted to the power, control, and respect Negan gets from the Saviors. On the other hand, Carl realizes that Negan will always have complete control over them. Now, it is Morgan’s turn to speak about Negan and Carl’s relationship in The Walking Dead. What is it that he sees in the teenager? Why is he so interested in the boy, why has he opened up to him, and what does he expect from Carl?

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan said that it boils down to respect. Out of everyone in the group, Carl was the only one who would look at Negan in the eyes. Even when the others avoided eye contact and Rick was down on the ground crying, Chandler Riggs’ character on TWD never looked away. This is a boy who has a lot of guts and has learned not to show fear.

“He’s always pissed and I think there’s just a lot of respect there that Negan has for this kid to grow up in this world as he has and survive as long as he had. Negan just simply respects him.”

Remember, Negan isn’t the first villain the group has encountered since the apocalypse began. However, Negan is the most brutal, comical, and interesting of them all. While everyone else had innocent childhood lives, Carl did not have that luxury. He grew up in the new world that played by a different set of rules. Even though a few years ago fans were stunned when Carl killed another boy, he was just using the logic of the world he lived in. He is using that same logic now. Never show fear, don’t back down, and be observant.

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Morgan also teased that if Negan had a son, he would want a boy like Carl. The character also sees a bit of himself in Rick’s son.

“I just think that if Negan were to have a kid, he would want him to be this kid. He respects this kid and maybe he sees a bit of himself in him. His initial read on Carl as a little future serial killer is not only a great line, but there’s something he sees in Carl.”

As for what to expect from Negan and Carl in The Walking Dead, there will probably be more interaction in the future. Negan opened himself up a bit to the teenager and gave him a tour of the Sanctuary. Negan seems interested in Carl and thinks he would make a great recruit. At the same time, he wants to stick it to Rick and remind him who is in control. Not only is Negan “everywhere,” but he can also take control of Rick’s family. That seems to be the message Negan wants to send by hanging out with Carl and Judith Grimes in Alexandria.

Morgan believes that Negan’s apology to Carl was genuine. If that is the case, will Negan try to mold Carl into who he thinks the boy should be? In Robert Kirkman’s comic books, Carl does go to Negan for advice on certain things, including girls. Carl taking in information and advice from Negan is one thing, but Carl won’t be shaped and played with like play dough. Carl might be young, but he isn’t impressionable. He can think for himself and used his skills of observation to pick up on a certain weakness. It is that same skill that convinced Carl that Negan won’t kill him.

“He’s going to poke you until he gets the answers that he wants, and when he sees Carl break a little bit, I think Negan genuinely feels bad when he’s talking about his mom and how she died and that. I think Negan genuinely has sympathy for this kid and kind of wants to just put him under his wing.”

It seems that after several seasons of Carl being overly annoying and never listening, he has switched gears. Yes, he did take a big risk going to the Sanctuary and killing two of Negan’s men. However, it is more than what Rick or anyone else is doing. Could fans be looking at a future hero, facilitating Alexandria’s freedom? Or should viewers expect Carl to turn into a mini-Negan? Chances are that it’s somewhere in the middle.

What do you think of Negan and Carl’s relationship in The Walking Dead?

[Featured Image by Gene Page/AMC]