Negan has been lording it over the Alexandrians and their allies ever since the tail-end of The Walking Dead season 6, but we still know very little about what makes the uber-villain tick. Just what turns a man into a psychopathic, grinning monster armed with a barbed baseball bat that he names Lucille? So far, we’ve had no clues whatsoever as to his pre-apocalypse past – but that’s about to change this season.
While attending a Q&A panel at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta, the man behind Negan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, promised fans that season 8 will deliver a lot of the answers we might have about the big bad. Though the revelations might not totally humanize the character, they will apparently help us “understand” why he is who he is.
“The great thing about this year, that I can tell y’all, is that we’re going to find out a lot more about Negan. There is a lot of Negan’s backstory out there. We haven’t filmed any of that, but there are conversations with a few characters where we’ll find out a little more about him. We’ll have some quieter moments this year, some one-on-one interactions where you’ll learn more about where he’s from. Even if you hate Negan, you’re gonna start to understand how he became the man that he is and why he does the things that he does. I’m learning more about Negan every time I put on my leather jacket.”
This is far from the first time we’ve been teased with the prospect of Negan’s origins being delved into this season. Showrunner Scott Gimple previously revealed that “there’s a loose plan in place” for what the villain’s backstory is and when it will be revealed. Gimple also mentioned that the TV show would be inspired by Here’s Negan, Robert Kirkman’s comic book prequel that focused on the character’s early years.
Secondly, Morgan also let slip that it would be through Negan and Eugene’s interactions this season that we begin to peel back the layers of the leader of the Saviors. Presumably, Eugene is one of the “few characters” that Morgan mentions Negan having conversations with above. Another might be Father Gabriel. Last time we saw Negan, back in the season 8 premiere, he and the priest were trapped in a trailer surrounded by walkers with no way out. So maybe he starts talking about his past to pass the time?
Either way, it’s great to hear that we’ll get to dive into the character a bit more this season and look forward to seeing how The Walking Dead presents that portion of his life.