While none of The Walking Dead’s Saviors are angels, is it possible that SIMON is their master of violence, and not Negan?
“I like killin’ people.” Were Negan’s words to Gregory on last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, and, it’s tough to argue. He seemed to be having a grand ol’ time when he was bashing Abraham to death, or when he gutted Spencer, or stabbed David, so, it can’t be said that Negan doesn’t like to kill people.
However, Negan also seems to go out of his way to avoid killing people if he can. He couldn’t bring himself to kill Carl, despite Carl gunning down a couple of his men; He only killed Glenn and Olivia because Daryl and Rosita tried attacking him; And, he made it quite clear that he sees people as a valuable resource, and killing only as some sort of necessary evil to prevent mass bloodshed. Murder is a last resort for Negan, most of the time.
Yet, this seems…incongruous with what we know of The Saviors.
Aside from their policy of killing one member of a group they seek to extort, ostensibly to show they’re serious, their violence as a group precedes them.
Before Rick’s group were ever formally introduced to Negan, Morgan and Carol found evidence of their decimation of the library group, while Rick and company were treated to its last survivor’s execution.
Furthermore, when Tara was at Oceanside, she learned that the reason the community was almost exclusively female was because The Saviors had slaughtered all the male members of their group over the age of 10!
If Negan values people so much, why, then, are The Saviors so characterized by murder?
Is it Negan? Well, despite his enthusiasm at times, I’m not so sure this is his handiwork. No, I believe the architect of all this death…is Simon.
Well, if you noticed, during Negan’s rant in last Sunday’s episode, he asked Simon if he was “backsliding”, which Simon sheepishly denied.
Now, this use of “backsliding”, and Simon’s response to the question, is important. The term suggests Simon committed some kind of infraction, and his rather contrite response owing to some punishment or fear of punishment for that infraction.
But, what, then, might have been the infraction?
Remember, despite Negan’s disbelief of Gregory’s assurances, what really set him off was Simon’s suggestion that the problems with The Alliance could be solved by simply wiping out everyone at The Hilltop.
What can we gather from this? One, Simon had either suggested this, or more likely, carried it out once already, and two, Negan was not happy about it. And, in fact, we may know of a time in which Simon did, in fact, wipe out an entire group: The Library.
If you recall Simon’s first appearance, he dragged the last survivor of the library around in order to “make an example” of him.
When told this, the library survivor asked Simon “To who?” before reminding his tormentor that all of his people were now dead.
…Gee, I wonder who might have seen to that?
I mean, is it really that far of a stretch to assume that the man who was torturing the last survivor of the library group was the man who destroyed the latter’s group in the first place?
If so, it would certainly go a long way to explaining why Negan would have such a tremendous problem with the idea of Simon “backsliding” into this pattern of behavior.
Now, while we have no smoking gun, I don’t think it’s crazy to assume that the man who has helped create The Saviors’ fearsome reputation isn’t, necessarily, it’s leader, but, it’s second in command. He’s cruel, he’s violent, and what’s worse, he thinks nothing of wholesale slaughter, something Negan clearly does not like.
But, what do you guys think? Am I crazy? Is Simon the true monster of The Saviors? Or, is Negan just a little more practical in his violence? Let me know in the comments!
And, if you like this and want to read more of my writings, specifically about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!