With talk of The Walking Dead spinoff release dates getting moved around, I took a moment to think about how far these characters have come since the show first aired. For reference, Dead City will have Maggie and Negan team up, while Daryl flies solo in the Daryl Dixon spinoff, leaving Rick and Michonne to hopefully and finally reunite with each other in their spinoff.
Of all the characters mentioned, only one truly had the most development. Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is not the same man he once was who brutally murdered Abraham and Glenn before the group with his bat Lucille.
He has since done everything in his power to move on from that chapter of his life, going as far as aiding the group several times over and possibly leaving to live in peace with Annie and their unborn child. Negan’s introduction, however, remains unforgettable for a multitude of reasons but the main reason I remember it so well, was because of how the show executed the entire scene.
Throughout the 11 seasons, our heroes faced many villains. Some very memorable, while others were very forgettable or seemingly downright pointless.
Do you remember Negan’s introduction on The Walking Dead?
What makes Negan stand out in both categories is the simple fact that when he emerged from the RV in season 6, episode 16 “Last Day on Earth”, it was the first time audiences saw him after hearing so much about him. Regardless of whether or not you knew of the character from the comics, Negan was mentioned a lot before he makes his first appearance.
It almost sounded like he was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He had a whole established empire, by conquering other communities and having those willing to follow him until the end.
He wasn’t some random psychopath who liked to kill people like The Wolves, or some truly disturbed and broken man like The Governor. He wasn’t unhinged since childhood like Alpha and the apocalypse didn’t crush him into the ground and strip him of all humanity like Terminus.
Yes, he suffered greatly, like most, but still managed to keep a strong enough head on his shoulders to accomplish what many could not. Even through his suffering and losing the war with Rick Grimes, he was able to see the error of his ways and make efforts to change for the better.
Again, something other villains would never or could never accomplish. Negan has had many memorable moments from the horrific to the hilarious and the heartbreaking, but his introduction still holds up as one of the greatest ways to introduce a character on a television show.
Have your thoughts about Negan changed since his first appearance? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!