'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Spoilers: Negan's Story Won't Follow the Comics
The Walking Dead Season 9 may have introduced a new villain from the comics in The Whisperers, with their leader Alpha coming in the second half, but Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is still around and very much a threat once again.
Now that he’s free, what will Negan do? In the comics, he shared a storyline with the Whisperers, but it appears the AMC series will take a different approach in Walking Dead Season 9.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 and the comics below.
Before the midseason break, Negan was locked up in a cell in Alexandria. However, after the door was left open, he escaped. The Walking Dead Season 9B trailer shows that he leaves Alexandria, but what he’ll be doing next is still a mystery.
“He goes on an adventure of his own,” showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly, using the words “almost Western-esque” to describe his story.
Kang added that what we see with Negan won’t be “exactly” from the comics.
“He feels like he can be more in this world and so he sets out to prove that that’s still possible,” she said. “What he finds is a really interesting and different world out there from the time that he came into prison.”
Remember, Negan was locked up at the end of Walking Dead Season 8. Since then, there have been two major time jumps. First, Season 9 picked up a year and a half later. Then, in Andrew Lincoln’s last episode, after Rick’s exit, the series jumped forward another six years.
In the comics, Negan doesn’t take advantage of his unlocked cell, but he does eventually break out and cross paths with The Whisperers. He’s with them briefly until he kills Alpha over a disagreement about the group’s rules. Specifically, he stops a rape, which is against the way The Whisperers operate.
The trailer for the second half of Walking Dead Season 9 shows him at the Sanctuary. So it’s unclear if he’ll cross paths with The Whisperers at all, let alone join them even briefly. However, Kang didn’t rule it out entirely. Maybe the show will put some sort of twist on that original story.
For now, however, the focus of The Whisperers seems to be with one community in particular.
“The Hilltop finds themselves right in the crosshairs of The Whisperer story as it unfolds,” Kang told EW.
The Hilltop already has a very good reason to hate The Whisperers, who go around disguised as walkers. One of the new group killed the community’s leader, Jesus (Tom Payne), in the midseason finale.
Speaking of which, it turns out that Tara will be taking over as Hilltop’s leader, which makes sense since she was basically already doing the job that Jesus wasn’t interested in.
“She finds herself thrust into this surprising leadership role,” Kang said to EW, adding that she won’t be alone. Even though Daryl may be like Jesus and not want to be a leader, he’s going to be helping out when he “finds himself in the middle of this dilemma” involving The Whisperers.
That tracks with the looks we got of Daryl and The Whisperers in the trailer.
One thing’s certain: With both Negan and The Whisperers out there, it’s not going to be easy for the survivors in Walking Dead Season 9B.
The Walking Dead Season 9 returns on Sunday, February 10 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Related video: Meet Samantha Morton’s Alpha in The Walking Dead Whisperers Teaser