Negan evolved into one of the most loveable and heroic characters in the Walking Dead. Here are his top 5 moments that prove this evolution.
Negan busted onto the scene in The Walking Dead during the season 6 finale and quickly made the most significant impact of any villain in the series. Right off the bat (pun intended), he and the Saviors quickly shook the new world up. In season 10, Negan had some big moments that changed the course of his character moving forward.
Negan is so charismatic that he quickly became a fan favorite among some fans of the series, but the reason why he was the top villain in the show is because of the events that took place in the first episode of the seventh season. In retaliation for Rick Grimes and his group raiding one of Negan’s compounds where some of his Saviors lived, he decided to punish the group and fans know what happened next.
He has come a long way since he first stepped out of the RV with Lucille in hand. He has had one of the biggest evolutions in terms of character development in the series. Negan started as a villain, but a few acts of kindness, he changed into a hero and a member of the group.
Negan experienced a roller coaster ride in season 10, and here are his top 5 moments.
5. Negan Saves Mom and Child on the Bus
Season 10 Episode 5- “What It Always Is”
Negan was locked up in a cell in the Alexandria community after the All Out War ended in season 8. Throughout season 9, he was still a prisoner and in season 10 he was let out then fled the community. Shortly after fleeing the community after being let out of his cell, a young man named Brandon joined him. He has known Negan since he was a child because his father was a worker for Negan in the Sanctuary.
During their travels, Brandon reminisces about the early days at the Sanctuary, but Negan seems un-phased by this but never really says why. Then Brandon strikes a nerve with Negan when he brings up Carl and that he died at the hands of Negan. He quickly shuts that down and denies it, so they continue on their way.
They stumble upon a bus and hear screams coming from the bus, and it turns out that there is a woman and young boy on the bus, and they are about to be attacked by a walker. Negan saves both the mother and child from the walker, and it does not seem like anything significant to the casual viewer. Nevertheless, there is a deeper reason why he decided to save the mother and child. Negan built up the Saviors, the Sanctuary, and every outpost by finding survivors that he could manipulate into working for him.
Fast forward to the present day in the series; he has no place to call home and no plan to build up another group like the Saviors, so why would he save this mother and child who would be pretty much useless to him? My theory is he finally changed his ways and came to the realization that people are a resource but not to him but to what we know as the new world in the series. I particularly like this moment from Negan because even though he has shown glimpses of humanity in previous seasons, he would go back to his natural bad guy tactics. This moment, however, is with good intentions, as he is ready to bring them to the Hilltop Colony for shelter and to start a new life.
4. Negan kills Brandon
Season 10 Episode 5- “What It Always Is”
Negan murders Brandon with a rock by beating him to death with repeated blows to the head. He does so because Brandon killed the mother and child. Negan wanted to change his ways and not murder anyone unless it was to protect himself, or anyone. He did have a moment with the kid, almost like a father and son moment talking about life before the walkers.
As the leader of the Saviors, Negan had two rules: Never murder women or children. Brandon broke both rules, it set Negan off, and he felt the need to avenge them. I put this moment in my list because it quickly follows the previous moment. Negan kills Brandon because he feels he let the mother and child down as he was about to send them to Hilltop and know the meaning of living in the apocalypse.
3. Negan Consoles Lydia
Season 10 Episode 15- “The Tower”
Negan and an accomplice (who will be revealed later) pulled off arguably the best double-cross in The Walking Dead series. I won’t discuss that just yet because, well, be patient.
Anyway, Negan had a handful of touching moments with Lydia, as they were both in the same boat. Both were a part of a rival group and then eventually became a member of the communities (well, not Negan but helped as a part of his sentencing after the war). He tried to help her to cope with members of Alexandria, giving her a hard time as he went through the same things after the war in season 8.
The moment that stands above all the others between Negan and Lydia is in episode 15 when Lydia is so overcome with emotion that she hits him and then ends up crying in his arms. It was a beautiful moment to see the big bad Negan who killed Glenn and Abraham now consoling a teenager while she cries uncontrollably. It brings a tear to my eye, thinking about that scene.
2. Talk with Daryl
Season 10 Episode 14- “Look at the Flowers”
Negan and Daryl come face to face in an abandoned house. Negan held Lydia there so she would be safe from Alpha and the rest of the Whisperers. Daryl cares about Lydia and wants to know where she is, so he ambushes Negan, trying to find out where she is. He does not trust anything that Negan says because, well, would you after what he did to your friends and family? I didn’t think so.
As they walk through the woods, they come across a couple of Whisperers who are ready to kill Daryl with Negan’s help. However, a changed Negan baits the Whisperers into trusting him before he takes them out, saving Daryl. He always liked Daryl, as is evident in season 7 when Dwight said to Daryl that Negan liked him a lot.
The lasting image of the episode is of Negan and Daryl talking on a log in a field after saving him from the Whisperers. Sometimes actions speak louder than words as Daryl did not tie up Negan like he did earlier in the episode, and he also has his back turned toward him as he doesn’t look him in the eye. The signs point to Daryl starting to trust Negan, and if that is the case, then I would expect to see Negan more in season 11 as a reliable member of the group.
1. Killing Alpha
Season 10 Episode 12- “Walk With Us”
It was revealed later in season 10 that Carol was the one who let Negan out, and together they orchestrated to greatest double-cross in the Walking Dead series. Negan used his charm and survival of the fittest tactics to win over Alpha and the rest of the Whisperers, besides Beta, who simply was not a fan. Anyway, he earned Alpha’s trust by finding out that Gamma was going around the backs of the Whisperers and joining forces with Aaron in Alexandria.
For some reason, he was able to talk to Alpha without any repercussions from the Whisperers’ leader. He officially became a member of the group after going through a rigorous test with Beta and a few other Whisperers. Then, when the group was rounding up walkers for battle, Negan made it out alive to the surprise of Beta. He demanded that he finally be fitted for his skin and mask then proceeded to pledge his loyalty to Alpha.
In the back half of season 10, things became weird for the fans of The Walking Dead. First, it was strange to see Negan in a Whisperer mask, which he earned from Alpha. There was a battle planned to attack Hilltop, and Negan tried to talk Alpha out of going through with the plan, but she would not listen.
The weirdest scene, probably in The Walking Dead history, was the intimate scene between Negan and Alpha. Yes, it still hard to digest that scene, but she rewarded Negan for all his hard work to the Whisperers. Finally, Negan executed (no pun intended) the biggest ploy when he took Alpha to an abandoned house where she thought Lydia was so she could kill her daughter. Instead, Negan was the one making the killing, and he slit Alpha’s throat then presenting her head to Carol at the end of the episode. It was amazing to see.
All in all, Negan has evolved from the most dangerous villain in the Walking Dead into yet another hero added to the community of survivors.