The Walking Dead EP Explains How Things Would’ve Gone If Rick Had Killed Negan

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It’s interesting to think how the storyline of The Walking Dead could’ve changed if the characters had made different decisions as often, Rick Grimes and his friends have had to make hard or morally questionable choices that have come back to bite them. On the flip side, Rick made a merciful one when he allowed Negan to live after they defeated the Saviors, remembering his late son Carl’s call for peace.

But how could things have played out differently if Rick had executed Negan, as many others wanted to do? ComicBook.com pitched this question to TWD chief content officer Scott M. Gimple and he got into how discussing “the butterfly effect” is a preoccupation of the writers room, hence how Danai Gurira’s final episode – which explored a timeline where Michonne allied with Negan – came about.

“We talk about the butterfly effect a lot, a character being there, a character not being there. We showed it with Michonne’s last episode,” Gimple said.

He went on to say that he believes more conflicts would’ve sprouted up between the communities if Rick didn’t make a move towards peace, which led to Michonne drawing up a charter that bound the five communities by a set of laws in season 9. “I think if they killed Negan, the conflicts would have been different with the communities,” Gimple said, adding that things probably would’ve been “more intense” in the early part of season 9.

Ultimately, Gimple thinks the survivors would’ve been less prepared for the Whisperers in this timeline, perhaps with Rick being killed.

“Maybe Rick would be dead,” Gimple continued. “Maybe that herd would have run through one of the communities. Maybe that would have created more conflict, and maybe the Whisperers would have come in and wiped them all out because they couldn’t get it together.”

In the timeline we’re in, Rick’s mercy proved that anyone can be redeemed, as years stuck in a jail cell have changed Negan and he’s now fighting alongside his former enemies. Not that Rick is around to see it, mind you, as he’s been whisked away who knows where by Anne/Jadis. We’ve got a while to wait to find out what’s happened to him, but Negan returns with The Walking Dead season 10B finale hitting AMC on October 4th.

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