The internet has been freaking out after it was recently announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian in Watchmen, John Winchester in Supernatural, and Denny Duquette in Grey’s Anatomy) has been tapped to play The Walking Dead‘s newest villain, Negan. So who is Negan and why should you care?
(MAJOR Spoiler Warning for both The Walking Dead comic books and the AMC series)
1. He’s Worse than the Governor
Negan is a former used car salesman who uses his natural charisma to take control of a ruthless group of survivors known as The Saviors. Negan uses extreme methods of violence in order to instill fear and bend people to his will, including brutal and unpredictable murders.
And while he might not be as psychotic as the Governor, he’s perhaps even more dangerous given his instability. In their review of the 100th issue of The Walking Dead (Negan’s first appearance), IGN wrote, “The new villain already looks to be worthy addition to the book’s cast. I didn’t realize how much I missed having a truly awful antagonist like The Governor in this series until now,” later adding that Negan was “quickly giving the Governor a run for his money in the villainy department”.
2. He Has a Signature Weapon
Just like Rick has his Colt Python revolver and Michonne has her swords, Negan has his own signature weapon – a baseball bat wrapped in barbed-wire, which he calls, “Lucille”. Negan has an unhealthy attachment to his weapon claiming it’s “the only bitch I’ve ever loved.”
It’s also hinted that Negan has sexual thoughts about Lucille. While watching violence, Negan tells his bat that “My dick’s so hard right now… I should wrap it in barbed wire and call it ‘Lucille II’.”
3. But He Isn’t All Bad
In particular, Negan has a soft spot for Carl Grimes and is opposed to sexual violence. Negan punishes adultery by branding the offender with a hot iron and he kills one of his own men after they attempt to rape another survivor.
4. He’s Based on Henry Rollins and Robert Kirkman
Negan’s appearance and character are based on actor and Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins, but Negan’s use of excessive profanity is based on The Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman‘s own vocabulary. In a Reddit AMA Kirkman wrote, “As far as the obscenity goes… I’ve known people that talk like that. And there are times when NEGAN says things that I say all the time. Anytime I delivered good/awesome/crazy/horrible news to someone I usually ask them ‘do you have your shitting pants on.’ So I worked that into Negan’s vernacular. Other times, I’m just thinking of the most outrageous horrible thing for him to say… something I’d never say, honest… I mean it… I’m really not that vulgar. I swear.”
5. He Makes a Pretty Strong First Impression
When Negan is first introduced, he tells Rick’s group “I know I HAD to make a pretty fucking strong first impression.” Negan then plays a game of “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo” where Glenn is the unfortunate winner. Negan then proceeds to bash in Glenn’s skull using Lucille. A pretty strong first impression indeed.
Originally Kirkman had planned for Rick to kill Glenn after he was forced to chose between saving Glenn or Carl. However, Kirkman later scrapped this plot and Negan was born. Right now, fans of the show are left speculating about the fate of everyone’s favorite pizza boy, so it’s possible another member of Rick’s group will take his place like Morgan, Daryl, or even the pregnant Maggie.
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