The Walking Dead: About Maggie’s grave in “Service”

The Negan Effect: Spotlight on Maggie Greene - Photo Credit: AMC / - Cass
The Negan Effect: Spotlight on Maggie Greene - Photo Credit: AMC / - Cass /

There was a moment The Walking Dead’s “Service” when it looked like Maggie might have been dead. What’s the benefit of making it look like she’s dead? Let’s explore the pros and cons.

It looked pretty convincing, didn’t it? The way Rick said Maggie had died, so simply yet matter of fact, was enough to convince Negan, but seeing the freshly-dug grave made it even more real. Negan certainly seemed to believe it; Negan didn’t know Maggie was pregnant, but he certainly noticed that she was sick in his lineup on that horrible night.

Father Gabriel sells Maggie’s death to Negan when he showed up in his priestly vestments and asked if Negan was there to pay his respects. You could see that Negan was taken aback, not only by Father Gabriel’s [rather creepy] presence behind him, but by the news itself. The way the group was acting suggested that they were dealing with more than what happened that night, and news of her death confirms that something had happened in Alexandria since the last time he’d seen them.

Rick tells Father Gabriel that it had been a great idea to dig the extra grave. “It was nice digging a grave that I knew would stay empty,” Gabriel replies. Clearly this was a strategic move. This was a move meant to keep Maggie away from Negan. There are lots of reasons why this is a good idea, and a few reasons why it could be a bad idea.

Negan says it’s a shame that Maggie died. For a brief moment there’s genuine compassion in his voice, from one human to another, but that leaves very quickly when he talks about how he likes women like Maggie who have suffered a loss. Given his history with Dwight and Sherry and her sister, there’s a suggestion here that Negan has a very interesting relationship with women. For that reason alone it’s better that he thinks she’s dead.

With Maggie “gone” Negan won’t be able to threaten her while she’s pregnant. It would be terrifying to have a pregnant Maggie subjected to even more cruelty from Negan and his men. That wouldn’t be good for her or her baby.

There’s also a strategic benefit to Maggie’s “death.” Maggie is a very capable fighter who knows how to strategize appropriately. She has come a long way from the girl on the farm, and with vengeance in her heart and revenge on her mind, she’ll be a force to reckon with once she’s healthy again. With all that in mind, it’s better to have her hidden for now. That way Negan won’t see her coming. (The same thing applies to Morgan and Carol, and Tara and Heath, who are not [necessarily] known to Negan or his men)

While there is a lot of upside, there is a downside to all of this. Negan has a strong presence at the Hilltop. If he discovers that she’s there receiving medical care, he won’t be happy. This decision to keep Maggie hidden also means she will need to stay hidden, and that could put even more people at risk. There’s also the not-so-small matter of how she’ll hide the baby, assuming that they’re still fighting Negan at that point.

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No matter what happens, there’s no question that keeping Maggie hidden buys the group some time while she gets better. Now it’s a matter of time to see what her next move will be.