Robert Kirkman: The Walking Dead Will Never Be the Same Again After Negan Arrives

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman says Negan’s arrival isn’t just another bad guy showing up to oppose Rick — he’s an atomic bomb that will change the show forever …

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

The Walking Dead will return on February 14 but the show will take a dramatic turn during the season finale a few weeks later with the arrival of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays vile leader Negan — by far the biggest opposition Rick Grimes and the other survivors have faced thus far.

Throughout the history of The Walking Dead, the survivors have been force to endure some rather ominous threats. From The Governor to the Hunters to the Wolves, the survivors have gone up against a megalomaniacal psychopath, cannibals and just about everything else in between, but Negan’s arrival will not just be another big bad for Rick to vanquish.

Negan is a force of nature and things on The Walking Dead will never be the same again.

“As far as shake-ups go, we have lots of shake-ups from season to season,” Kirkman told EW recently. “It keeps things interesting — keeps the blood pumping, I like to say — but Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show and the show will probably never be the same after that. So buckle up, I guess?”

In the comic books, Negan is not only the greatest opponent Rick and the others face during the course of the series, but he is by far the most violent, sociopathic and unrelenting person to go up against them in the zombie apocalypse.

What’s scariest about Negan is the fact that he’s not just some rabid dog, hell bent on biting and mauling whatever is in front of him. He’s not your average, everyday lunatic because he’s strategic, manipulative and an accomplished leader.

Negan might be evil but he’s not without purpose and he’s definitely the smartest foe the survivors have ever tried to defeat.

He leads a group of survivors he calls ‘The Saviors’ and they have not only accumulated huge numbers for the soldiers that lead their army, but they’ve been at this a long time. The Saviors aren’t a handful of people bound together for the sole purpose of surviving. They want to thrive in this new world even if it comes at the expense of other people and the Saviors aren’t afraid to take what they want by any means necessary.

“I think the Saviors are dangerously organized. The Wolves were psychotic, the Hunters (the cannibals) had a lot of weaknesses. When it comes to the Saviors, and Negan in particular, the way I’ve always thought about this in the comics is this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality, but is still an intellectual and capable leader who’s kept his group alive against all odds just as long as Rick has,” Kirkman said.
“It’s really the best encountering the best. When these two forces come head to head, things are gonna get interesting. This is a much different group than they’ve ever encountered. The Saviors are a group they’re not really prepared for.”

The Saviors arrived on The Walking Dead during the mid-season finale when a group of their soldiers encountered Daryl, Sasha and Abraham on the way back to Alexandria when they told them that everything they owned ‘now belongs to Negan’.

While Rick and the others have a lot going on at Alexandria — namely a zombie riot — eventually they are going to be forced to deal with a threat much bigger than the undead horde stomping through the town. His name is Negan and he’s going to wreak havoc when he finally arrives on The Walking Dead later this season.

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