If you’re not up-to-date with the The Walking Dead, beware, there are spoilers ahead for the comics and TV show.
The Walking Dead’s notorious villain Negan has finally been cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan will flip the switch on his nice guy persona to play one of the most savage antagonists Rick and co. have ever faced in the comics. Now that he’s confirmed for an onscreen appearance, what can we expect from him and what does that spell for the show’s future?
This guy’s trouble. His behavior makes The Governor’s macabre habit of beheading walkers for his zombie aquarium seem as quaint as collecting tea cosies. Negan’s depravity is the work of a psychopathic monster. His idea of restoring order to the chaotic post-apocalyptic landscape is through intimidation and fear. Even his [own people](http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Dwight_(Comic_Series) don’t fully trust him. He sleeps with their wives and burns their faces with an iron if they don’t like it. The Saviors get through a lot of Biafine. On the show those same lackeys — who slaughtered most of the Alexandrians — are called the Wolves. Their butchery was nastier than all of the shit Carol’s done tenfold, and that barely touches the techniques Negan himself uses.
All of which he does for “the good of the community”, a maxim he enforces through an extortion racket scheme that covers an area containing multiple survivor communities. They each surrender a portion of their produce to him or face death: something Negan happily dishes out with his trusty baseball bat, Lucille. Ringed with barbed wire and often dripping with zombie guts, it’s his go-to weapon.
So… the Alexandrians really need to toughen up
This one’s kind of a given. Since Rick’s group saddled up to the fortified community in Season 5, the show continues to make it clear that this bunch don’t know squat about survival. They can ration, sure, but put them in front of a walker and they hem and haw like chickens clucking over the last seed. Droves of them have perished. One bone I’ve had to pick with the show’s depiction of this group is how much tragedy they’ve suffered and how little they’ve learned from it. Hiding behind a gigantic perimeter fence won’t save you, but strength will. This kill-or-be-killed survivalism issue needs to end. Negan’s disregard for human life is a cruel tool that would transform the death of Alexandria into great television.
Glenn died. The last we saw and heard, zombies were tearing open his stomach and feasting on his guts. As harrowing as it was to watch — especially with that swansong composition playing him out — many believe he still lives. It’s a possibility because comic book Glenn doesn’t get killed by walkers. He suffers at the hands of Negan and Lucille.
Look how damn gleeful the son of a bitch is as he smashes Glenn’s face!
Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman explicitly outlined Glenn’s comic book death on Comedy Central’s Midnight back in February as a fake spoiler for the show. He’s since referred to the entire mystery surrounding Glenn’s fate as “a fun experiment”. And the brain-bashing was hinted at in the Season 5 premiere:
Both Kirkman and producer Scott Gimple trolled fans to the point of social media hysteria. No-one knows for sure if Glenn’s a goner. But now that Negan is en route, we can at least entertain the idea that Glenn’s screams were perhaps heard by The Saviors. It’s not a nicer fate that the one currently assigned to him, or even one that could save his life, but it’s one that loyalists might embrace.
Whether or not Glenn really is alive under that dumpster, awaiting a bloody demise at Negan’s hand, the spectacle of his iconic death won’t be wasted. The show has made a habit of remixing pivotal points in the comic to suit the current timeline of the series (i.e. it’s Tyreese who’s decapitated by The Governor in the comics, not Hershel.) Characters who died onscreen still live on the page (i.e. Andrea), and vice versa. The baseball bat beatdown might not be issued to Glenn, but it could easily end another beloved survivor.
One big question still remains unanswered concerning Negan — just how exactly will the show work around his inability to say one sentence without dropping an F-bomb?