No fan of The Walking Dead series will ever shake the memory ofNegan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) first appearance in the series. He came on the scene as the vilest of villains, leading his Saviors with an iron fist and a barbed wire-wrapped bat named Lucille. Introduced in the season 6 finale, “Last Day on Earth,” fans had to wait months for the conclusion of this significant cliffhanger.
When Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast as Negan, TWD fandom went wild. They believed he would do a fantastic job bringing to life the foul-mouthed character they knew well from the comic story created by Robert Kirkman. And Morgan did not disappoint.
Negan’s origin story, told in the season 10c episode “Here’s Negan,” based on the same-titled comic, would shed light on what turned him from a mild-mannered ex-gym teacher to a loving husband and then a villain in the apocalypse. He suffered the significant loss of his wife Lucille (Hilarie Burton Morgan) to cancer, which could have possibly been avoided if some men hadn’t detained him as he was trying to bring life-saving medicine to her.
This would flip a switch in Negan’s brain, and he would make those men pay for the suffering and loss they caused him.
The Walking Dead – Negan’s first episode
“Last Day on Earth” would close out the sixth season of the series on April 3, 2016, and viewers were forced to wait until October 23, 2016, for the storyline’s conclusion, which left them hanging for months.
As Negan decides who would be the one to meet Lucille up close and personal with a teasing game of Eeny Meeny Miny Moe, he chooses his victim, warns the others not to move, and begins pounding someone’s brains out.
Negan was punishing Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group for the slaughter of his Saviors as they slept, who resided at an outpost. Knowing little about Negan and his crew, Rick thought it best to strike hard and fast before the scenario could be reversed. But this would come back to bite him as Negan’s men rounded them up into what is known as Negan’s lineup.
This is a classic scene from the comic where Glenn Rhee meets his maker. In the season 7 premiere, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” the series threw a curve ball by giving Glenn (Steven Yeun) fans a sigh of relief when Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) is selected instead. In true Abraham form, he rises up after the first hit from Lucille, looks Negan in the eye, and tells him, “Suck my nuts.”
Just when fans begin to think it is all over, Daryl (Norman Reedus) makes a wrong move, punching Negan, to which he responds by taking his second victim, Glenn, as his pregnant wife, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), looks on in terror. It was a horrific scene and one episode many fans have never been able to rewatch.
By the end of the series, Negan did his best to redeem himself for the horrible acts of his past. His story continues in The Walking Dead: Dead City, which has been renewed for a second season. By the end of Dead City’s first season, Negan is being held captive by the Dama (Lisa Emery), who wants him to come to her side and take over Manhattan. Will he succumb to his dark side? Or continue on his path to redemption?