Negan’s reason for joining the Whisperers has split The Walking Dead fans, but now it looks like Negan has realized that he made one fatal miscalculation.
When Negan decided to join ranks with the Whisperers, it was something that caused fans to wonder what the former Savior leader was up to. Was he making a move to get back into power, or was he trying to infiltrate Alpha’s inner circle to find a way to take her out from the inside? In The Walking Dead “Morning Star” it looks like Negan realized that he may be in way over his head.
Whatever Negan was thinking when he joined the Whisperers, his plans were turned upside down in The Walking Dead “Morning Star”.
Perhaps Negan was hoping that he could rise through the ranks and become the king to Alpha’s queen. He is certainly smart enough to know that unless Alpha dies, there’s no way he’s taking over the Whisperers.
Then again, perhaps his plans weren’t so nefarious. Maybe he was trying to to work the system to save the only people who matter to him anymore.
One thing is for certain: “Morning Star” offers a glimpse of what his plans might have been. When Negan hints to Alpha that a bigger blow to Hilltop would be to make the residents kneel to her and join the Whisperers, he thinks this is a strategy that makes sense. Humiliation is a powerful tool. And it’s exactly what he would have done as a Savior. People are too valuable to kill off unless you absolutely have to.
What he didn’t plan on is that while he was the leader who believed that people are worth keeping around, Alpha is the queen of the dead. She sees more value in the dead than she does in the living. Now that her daughter is dead to her, Alpha isn’t holding back. She tells Negan that she is going to make them follow her – as members of her undead army.
You can see the shock in Negan’s expression. He recovers quickly, cracking a joke about Alpha’s leadership prowess, but the wheels are turning. His attempt at rerouting the horde to save Hilltop, and later Alexandria, has failed. She plans on killing everyone.
You might be wondering at this point why any of it it matters to Negan. Why would he think of trying to keep Hilltop and Alexandria residents alive, perhaps at great personal cost?
On the one hand, he’s someone who enjoys living. The Whisperers aren’t his crowd because they’re a cult of the dead. He also enjoys people knowing his name and knowing who he is (or was) because Negan is a vain guy. (Vanity suits him, though)
The key argument, though, is that he wants to protect the people who live in the communities, specifically the people he cares about. As far as he knows, Judith, RJ and Lydia are still in Alexandria. He has no idea they’re all at Hilltop and you can bet that if he finds out he is going to find a way to help them. Saving them will be a priority for him; if he can save other people, great. But the kids are the priority. They’re the only other people who count in his life anymore.
I’ve said all along that Negan’s designs for the Whisperers were more complex than a power grab. He might have gleaned from his time with Lydia that if someone can slip a sliver of doubt into one of the Whisperers’ minds, it could spark a revolution against Alpha and her way of life. We certainly see this from Gamma, now Mary, who indicated that Alpha has a way of controlling people. Make them doubt her, and they might rise against her.
Negan’s expression upon learning about Alpha’s plans for Hilltop said it all: He was shocked, and now he knows that unless he does something all of those people could die. He shot the flaming bow and arrow at the end of the episode because there was no time to start his revolution just yet. He couldn’t disobey Alpha in that moment because it would have been fruitless. He had to play along.
Now, it’s likely that Negan will be trying to buy time until he can find a solution, but when he learns that Judith is inside it might change everything.
What do you think about Negan’s predicament? Is he after power, or did he think he could influence Alpha’s decisions? Let us know in the comments!