Negan makes his Saviors say that they are Negan. It seems to be all about him, but could there be a different interpretation of “I am Negan”?
If you have been watching The Walking Dead for the last season or so, you have heard the Saviors say “I am Negan,” or “We are all Negan.” Or you have heard Negan ask them who they are expecting the answer “I am Negan.”
There are lots of ways to interpret this Negan thing. Negan likes hearing his name and being worshipped. He wants the Saviors to feel the power of the leader and all have one identity. He wants them to know he is everywhere. What happens to anyone in the Saviors happens to Negan. An apocalyptic “all for one and one for all.”
All of the interpretations have to do with the boss man. Ways to serve him. Daryl refused to say he was Negan. Watching Eugene say he was Negan so quickly and eagerly was perhaps disheartening for some, but watching Eugene with Dwight at the end was a chilling light bulb moment for me and the idea of the Negan pledge.
Perhaps, for some of the Saviors becoming Negan is a way they can survive and give away their old self. If they are going to have to do things that they wouldn’t do as their pre-apocalypse self, perhaps it’s easier to accept if they do it under a different name. It’s Negan doing these things, not Dwight or Eugene.
"E: Regarding me clamping down –D interrupts: You on board?E: I am. Just like you. Don’t know if you recall my handle.D: I don’t.E: Eugene. You’re Dwight. We are Negan.D: Yeah."
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By acknowledging that they are Negan, Dwight and Eugene communicated to each other that they knew that what they did in the Sanctuary is not who they really are. They knew that it was what they had to do to survive.
When Eugene was with Abraham at the beginning he did the same thing. He became a scientist in order to gain protection from Abraham and Rosita. He told Tara that if he couldn’t save the world he would have no value and wouldn’t be protected or befriended.
Now it’s exactly the same situation. If he doesn’t become Dr. Smarty Pants, he has no value. He wouldn’t be protected or befriended. He would have to live in the Sanctuary afraid all the time. As Dr. Smarty Pants or Negan, he can survive and even have pickles and video games.
Dwight is in the same situation. As Dwight, he has to run away, live in fear with the walkers, looking over his shoulder. Or he gets the iron. As Negan he can have a bed, respect and sandwiches.
Even though Dwight and Eugene don’t know each other’s stories, just by saying that they are Negan to each other, they know that they each have one. And it is not the one they are living in the Sanctuary.