The Walking Dead: Negan as the Little Dutch Boy

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Maybe Negan has been telling us the truth about his role this entire time. If you listen carefully to The Walking Dead 805 preview, he shares some key insight.

Negan just might be the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke, only instead of saving Holland from the floods this version puts a barbed wire bat into Negan’s hands and he’s actually holding back a slew of n’er do wells from taking over.

In The Walking Dead “The Big Scary U” we return to the Sanctuary, where things have been a little rough since Rick and the gang broke down the fences and ushered a herd of Walkers inside during a well-planned sneak attack. In the middle of the chaos, Negan and Father Gabriel became trapped in a storage unit surrounded by Walkers, and no one seems to know that they’re there. In the meantime, Simon, Gavin, Dwight and Eugene are trying to figure out next steps, and therein lies the problem.

While Negan and Father Gabriel are trapped in the storage unit, Negan makes the following comment: “A lot of folks are gonna die in there ‘cause I’m not there to stop it.”

Negan is someone who thrives on order amid chaos. If you follow his rules, work hard and stay in line you live a good life. Fall out of line and you’re asking for trouble. It’s a regimented system to control a world that has fallen out of control since the dead started rising up again. The Sanctuary has been home to all kinds of people. We have seen a lot of his army, sure, but Negan also protects other people, too. One thing is clear, though: Negan keeps everyone in check. Without order, things would fall apart quickly.

Perhaps, though, Negan has been telling us this from the very start. His comment to Father Gabriel suggests that he doesn’t think his people are capable of controlling the Sanctuary and in the process people will die. If he’s not there to maintain order, chaos will be worse than anything he has ever done by way of punishment. While this might not seem important to a guy who gleefully smashes skulls with a baseball bat, it’s important to remember that Negan has a code of conduct. Unlike The Governor, whose actions were erratic and emotional, Negan is controlled and regimented. For every action there is a consequence. Obey the rules, you do fine. Break them, and that’s on you.

Negan is too smart not to realize that guys like Simon are out for blood. Simon delights in causing chaos, so having him going around the Sanctuary unchecked is an issue. He doesn’t realize the whole picture (yet) but Dwight isn’t on Team Negan anymore, Gavin isn’t sure about any of it and Eugene is just happy to be alive.

The longer Negan stays in that storage unit, the more damage is being done inside the walls of the Sanctuary and he might be the only one who can stop it from getting worse.