Once the dust began to settle from The Walking Dead season 8’s premiere, “Mercy,” and a future Rick Grimes (?) mused about mercy prevailing over wrath, the show’s impassioned community was left with one major question: is this the beginning of the end for Negan?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s bat-wielding sadist has been a constant thorn in Rick’s side ever since the tail-end of season 6, when Negan first made the transition from page to screen. And in that time, he’s grown into the villain we love to hate. Word is The Walking Dead season 8 will bring a sense of closure to the whole Negan/Rick Grimes saga, which all but confirms that one (or perhaps both?) of those characters will be killed off for good.
Assuming Andrew Lincoln’s hero prevails, and the Saviors are left sleeping with the fishes, it’ll be Negan who is sent to meet his maker – and not a moment too soon. But while breaking down Sunday’s super-sized opener with Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln warned of the big deaths still to come in season 8.
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This isn’t the first time, nor is it likely to be the last, that The Walking Dead‘s core cast have bigged up season 8’s body count, but the fact that it’s coming from Andrew Lincoln himself certainly raises some big question marks over Rick’s fate.
It’s bigger than we’ve ever invented. What the writers have tried to do narratively, it’s a roller coaster this season. It’s real life, but it is anchored with I think some of the biggest deaths we’ve ever dealt with. And the second half I think is even darker and deeper and more connected than we’ve ever done. I’ve never been involved in the season that is so all-out. The crew are the glue that have kept this show together and this season they have worked harder than I’ve ever seen any human beings work, and I want this show to be the best ever for them, for what they’ve done. And, of course, the fans. I want this to be the best season we’ve ever done. In my heart, that’s what I want it to be.