The Walking Dead is currently on hiatus before season 7 returns this October, a season which is set to be even more action-packed than the last. As long rumored, the show’s biggest bad yet, Negan, made his highly anticipated debut in the season 6 finale. Played by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the character is one of the most vicious villains to ever appear on the zombie saga. So who exactly is he? Here’s what we know about him.
1. He is the leader of the Saviors
Negan is the evil, foul-mouthed leader of The Saviors, a group of violent survivors based at a place called The Sanctuary, which is in the same general area as the other survivor communities, like Alexandria Safe-Zone, Hilltop Colony, and The Kingdom.
Negan and his followers rule by fear, providing protection to certain communities in exchange for supplies and resources. However, if those communities in question neglect to pay up…well, let’s just say it isn’t pretty.
2. He has a brutal weapon of choice
You can’t hear the name “Negan” without also thinking “Lucille.” That’s what Negan affectionately calls his weapon of choice, a baseball bat covered in barbed wire. Needless to say, there’s a reason Negan is so fond of it — Lucille is responsible for some of the most notable deaths in the series.
3. He has multiple wives
In Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels, Negan constantly displays a contradictory sense of morals. While he despises the act of rape and will kill any of his own men for attempting to carry it out, he has no problem extorting women into acting as his “wives” — even if they’re married to other people. As for the men whose wives he stole, Negan uses his power to turn them into loyal followers.
4. He causes the death of a beloved character
Last season, after weeks of leaving fans in the dark about Glenn’s fate, the show finally confirmed that the character was still alive after his recent brush with death. Unfortunately, that may not be the case for long.
In the comics, Negan is the one to kill Glenn, as revenge for the death of several Saviors that were killed at the hands of Rick. Knowing Rick will only be considered a martyr if he takes his life, Negan picks someone else to murder at random — and unfortunately chooses Glenn. It’s a brutal kill, with Negan bashing Glenn’s head in with Lucille while Rick, Maggie, and Carl are all forced to watch.
Though we don’t know if the scene will play out in the same way on the show, producers have hinted that the show will stay faithful to the comics storyline.
5. He and Rick battle each other in an “All Out War” in the comics
After killing Glenn in the comics, Negan demands half of Alexandria’s supplies at certain intervals or else, he will kill someone else. Rick and the group follow along for a while, but their passivity doesn’t last long. The group rebels against Negan’s orders eventually, recruiting the Safe-Zone and a few other communities to take on Negan in a unified war against the Saviors. The multi-volume “All Out War” comic storyline ends with Rick choosing to put Negan in jail, instead of killing him.
6. He’s going to have a major impact on the show
Morgan made his debut as Negan on the show’s Season 6 finale on April 3.
Kirkman, who wrote the comic book source material and is a contributing writer and producer for the TV show, recently opened up about how the character’s introduction will affect the series. “As far as shake-ups go, we have lots of shake-ups from season to season. It keeps things interesting — keeps the blood pumping, I like to say — but Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show and the show will probably never be the same after that,” he said.
Morgan agreed with Kirman, calling the character “a game-changer” and expressing his excitement at taking on the role. “I don’t mind handling a baseball bat!” the actor told TV Guide in December. “I feel real comfortable with Lucille in my hands, let’s say that.”
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