Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a fan-favorite actor in The Walking Dead series. Despite portraying one of the villains of the series, Morgan has a huge fan base because of who he is in real life and how well he brings Negan to life on screen. Morgan has portrayed Negan Smith since season 6 of the series, and since then, the character has undergone a drastic transformation.
When Negan was first introduced, fans of the comic story, which the series uses as source material, were excited to see how the storyline of Negan’s lineup would translate on screen. No one was disappointed. Not only did the story change things by making Abraham (Michael Cuclitz) his victim, but in a shocking twist, Glenn (Steven Yeun) also met the receiving end of Negan’s beloved weapon Lucille. In the comics, Glenn was the only victim of this lineup.
Over time Negan has had to rethink his life and has gone to heroic measures to prove he is worth redemption. In the episodes of season 11, part 2, Negan announced that he was married to Annie (Medina Senghore), who is carrying his child. This changes everything for Negan, but what could have been an amazing emotional scene for viewers fell flat.
This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 22, “Faith.”
The Walking Dead – Negan’s sacrifice
During the recent episode of The Walking Dead, “Faith,” several of our survivors have been forcibly taken to a Commonwealth labor camp. Negan, being who he is and with his wife and child’s lives on the line, nothing will stop him from protecting them.
He sacrifices himself to the Commonwealth and ends up in front of a firing squad. Now, to people who aren’t aware of Negan’s spinoff series, this was likely an impactful scene. But to fans who know that Negan will survive the flagship series to go on to The Walking Dead: Dead City spinoff with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), it lost any suspense that should have been felt.
The premature announcement of a Negan and Maggie spinoff, as well as the other spinoffs, has taken something away from fans of the series. Gone is the suspense that anyone could die in the final season.
This is a disservice to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as well. He did a fantastic job in this scene, and fans of Negan should have been scared to death that this was how he would be taken out in the apocalypse.
Morgan himself even expressed his shock that AMC would announce the spinoff so early, and this scene is probably why. Morgan had this to say during an interview on The Rick Eisen Show about the announcement.
"Now that we’ve announced that there’s going to be a spin-off, I guess we know Negan doesn’t die. Spoiler Alert, folks. Sorry! I’m still not sure why we announced that already. It was sort of a shocker to me."
The scene was quite moving, and when Ezekiel (Khary Payton) came up to protect Negan, with whom he has no love, I will admit I did get chills. Our survivors are coming back together in a final stand against the Commonwealth. With only two episodes remaining, I don’t see how they will be able to do justice to our series with so much at stake. But I am here for the duration and will be crying with the rest of our TWD Family on finale night.