Negan as a Whisperer: The Walking Dead chameleon

After tons of eagle-eyed fans wondered if Negan was spotted wearing a skin mask in The Walking Dead 10B trailer, we finally have official confirmation.

Negan is officially a Whisperer on The Walking Dead. The official Skybound account tweeted out the news Monday morning, confirming what fans suspected already: The unknown man wearing a skin mask in the latest season 10B trailer is indeed Negan. And if Negan is wearing a skin mask, then it could have major implications for how the second half of the season will play out.

After securing his freedom, Negan had a world of possibilities ahead of him but he made the decision to march into the Whisperers home base and announce his desire to become a member of their group. This was somewhat surprising (comic book source material aside) because he knows that the Whisperers could wipe out the communities and that would put Judith, RJ and Lydia at risk.

That means there’s something more to his plan.

Becoming a Whisperer is a power play. Negan is no joiner. He can talk the talk all day long (and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is great at talking the talk!) but anyone who has known him long enough (i.e. not Alpha) knows that he will do what it takes so long as it equates to him remaining alive. He struggled with being locked up early on, but eventually he realized that the prison cell was a safe space. When Margo died while he was rescuing Lydia, Negan knew he needed to get the heck out of dodge.

Joining the Whisperers seems like a strange decision to make, given that he knows the communities are rallying to mount a defense against them.

So what is his game plan?

Negan is the ultimate survivor. At the end of the day, the former leader of the now defunct Saviors is about protecting himself above all. (Though it must be pointed out that he has shown a penchant for protecting kids, which is an important caveat in his self-preservation quest) He has shown an immense understanding for the way of the world in its post-apocalyptic state, and he believes that good deeds aren’t always worth the risk.

Wearing the Whisperer mask makes Negan the ultimate chameleon. If he is indeed welcomed into the group, then he can either work with them to ensure his survival or he can make a move against Alpha from the inside, proving once and for all that he can be trusted. Either way, he stays alive and that’s priority numero uno.

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With the season 10B premiere only a few short weeks away, fans will soon know what Negan’s true intentions are. One thing is abundantly clear: Negan has a plan. Whether it’s a good one or not remains to be seen.

The Walking Dead returns February 23 at 9pm on AMC.

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