The Walking Dead: How will losing Carl impact Negan?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Saviors - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Saviors - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Walking Dead’s resident bad guy Negan shared a special bond with Carl Grimes, the son of his nemesis. How will Carl’s death impact Negan?

Carl is the son Negan always wanted, and as such Negan shared a very unique relationship with the young man. While he respected the hell out of Carl, he had no qualms using Carl against Rick on more than one occasion. Whether he would have actually hurt Carl is anyone’s guess. But how will Negan react when he finds out Rick’s kid is soon to be gone?

Let’s face it: Carl’s impassioned plea to Negan in the midseason finale was Oscar worthy. Carl has a way of getting through to Negan that no one else has. Who else has been able to get away with killing Saviors for nothing more than a song and dance? Carl and Negan have a weird respect thing going on even though Carl can’t fathom forgiving him for what Negan has done. And though the relationship between the two was explored in the comics, fans of the show won’t have that same opportunity.

Negan also knew that he could use Carl as leverage against Rick. With Carl out of the picture, Rick has nothing left to hold him back. (Of course he has Judith, but Judith has been raised by a community that would continue to care for her in the event of Rick’s demise) Learning of Carl’s death just might have an impact on Negan, too.

That brings us to what’s going to happen when Negan learns of what happened with Carl. My guess is that Negan will be remorseful, and he’ll genuinely feel sorry for Rick’s loss. Negan might be a monster, but he’s a monster with depth and sentiment. He values people when they fall in line, and I think he had big plans for Carl in the future. Negan respected the hell out of Carl and probably would have used that respect to gain favor with the kid.

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Now that canon on The Walking Dead has been blown to smithereens, it’s anyone’s guess how Negan will react. One thing’s for certain: He will react. There will be emotion. And Negan might even surprise us all.