The Walking Dead: The fate of Negan was originally very different

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead Season 8 - Photo Credit: Alan Clark, AMC, and Entertainment Weekly
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead Season 8 - Photo Credit: Alan Clark, AMC, and Entertainment Weekly /

At the Skybound NYCC panel The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman said that Negan originally had a very different fate in the comic.

Negan quickly became the most notorious villain on The Walking Dead so far when he brutally killed Abe, and then Glenn. As The Walking Dead enters All Out War in season 8 it looks like Negan is going to be the villain du jour for quite some time. But that wasn’t the case originally.

At the Skybound panel at New York Comic-Con, Robert Kirkman said that Negan was originally only supposed to be around for six issues. And originally Negan was supposed to lose his head. Rick was going to deliver Negan’s head to Maggie as justice for Glenn’s murder.

But then, he says, he started wondering what would happen if Negan and Carl started talking. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In the comic Negan is imprisoned in the basement cell in Alexandria. He and Carl begin an interesting, and slightly antagonistic, friendship. On The Walking Dead TV show, the beginnings of that friendship have already been seen when Negan took Carl around The Sanctuary.

Here’s the original tweet from The Walking Dead official Twitter account:

Negan And Carl’s Complicated Relationship

Negan seems to genuinely like Carl. He didn’t kill Carl when Carl stowed away in The Saviors truck from The Hilltop and killed several of The Saviors. And even though their conversations at The Sanctuary bordered on cruel it seemed like Negan really had an interest in Carl.

Of course, he did threaten to make Rick cut off Carl’s arm and later in The Walking Dead season 7 finale he was about to kill Carl with Lucille to make a point to Rick. But that’s par for the course with Negan. And even those incidents of violence don’t necessarily mean that Negan doesn’t think Carl is an interesting kid.

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Carl has changed a lot as he has grown up in the post-apocalypse world. Even though he has Rick’s stoic attitude and a commitment to doing what it takes to keep the others alive he also has a pragmatic attitude that fits Negan’s worldview.

It seems like Carl understands that Negan is violent and cruel in order to keep order. And while Carl may not approve of Negan’s methods he can’t argue with their effectiveness. It will be very interesting to see if Negan does end up in that cell in the basement after All Out War is over or if Rick will kill him to get justice for Glenn and Abe.

Justice For Maggie

If the story had gone down the way Robert Kirkman initially planned it would have been very cathartic for fans. All the fans felt Maggie’s anguish as she collapsed on the ground where Glenn’s body was. And it would feel great to see Negan pay for that with his head.

Next: Negan's backstory on AMC's The Walking Dead

But as is often the case in The Walking Dead world emotions have to take a back seat to survival. Negan would be a valuable hostage. Even though his methods are over the top he does know how to lead. And he knows how to strategize. Rick may keep him alive to try to use the talents that Negan has. As long as Negan is safely confined in the basement of course.