The Walking Dead: Thoughts on Negan from a non-comic reader

Christopher Berry as Bud, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Christopher Berry as Bud, The Walking Dead -- AMC /

As a non-comic reader I’ve finally begun to feel the excitement about Negan, too. I don’t read spoilers, but I do know bits and pieces and I have some thoughts about Negan and The Walking Dead.

First let me address the inevitable comment that I should read the comics. I know they are supposed to be great. I’m a reader, so that’s not it. I’ve read books before I’ve seen the movie and I’ve seen movies before I read the book.

There’s something about the simultaneously reading the comics and watching the show that just doesn’t sit right with me. I know there are people who do it, but I just don’t think I want to do it. The show is so special to me. I do want to read the Governor novels though.

The Saviors, The Walking Dead - AMC
The Saviors, The Walking Dead – AMC /

Now onto Negan in the show. Comic readers are excited to see how their villain is brought to the screen and have ideas in their heads already. As non-comic readers, we have very little to go on and I like that. We do know to be very afraid.

We learned a little bit more with some of Robert Kirkman’s comments that made me think a little bit about Negan and about Rick and our group’s road to where we are now.

Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly that he thinks about the Saviors like this:

"“When it comes to the Saviors, and Negan in particular, the way I’ve always thought about this in the comics is this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality, but is still an intellectual and capable leader who’s kept his group alive against all odds just as long as Rick has. It’s really the best encountering the best. When these two forces come head to head, things are gonna get interesting. This is a much different group than they’ve ever encountered. The Saviors are a group they’re not really prepared for.”"

Dwight, The Walking Dead - AMC
Dwight, The Walking Dead – AMC /

This is an interesting description.  It makes me wonder what might have happened if Rick’s group had encountered Alexandria before Aaron invited them to audition. Would things have gone differently? Would they have tried to take over Alexandria in a different way?

How did Negan get the Saviors to follow him? Does he offer protection? Self-esteem? Does he still offer protection? What about people who don’t feel they need protection or refuse his protection?

Are Rick and his group a similar protection system for the Alexandrians? Is that their leverage? You need us so you better help us and do what we say because you don’t know what you’re doing and you’ll die without our help. Is Negan’s group what Rick’s Ricktatorship could have evolved into in other circumstances?

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What does Negan get out of this protection service? Does it just feed his ego? We’ve heard how evil he is. What’s up with the property stuff? I can’t wait to see how the property stuff works out with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham.

Somehow Dwight and his girl were able to get away from Negan, but his people went after them. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of them. I hope things don’t get spoiled for us as non-comic readers. I’m already aware of some death, but that may be changed. I don’t know how Negan is ever resolved/ended. And I don’t want to know that!

I’m also excited for whatever the hilltop is and for Jesus and Gregory, whoever they are! I love The Walking Dead and whatever they decide to do or not do. I’ve never been really disappointed yet.