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The Walking Dead Producer Doesn’t Think Daryl Can Ever Forgive Negan

The Walking Dead is at its best when it asks its viewers to take a deep dive into the space between morality and evil and explore the gray areas of a post-apocalyptic world. It has succeeded in turning villains into sympathetic characters, liars into trustworthy allies, and heroes into questionable decision-makers. It's this kind of exceptional and natural character growth that keeps people tuning back in week after week even when its action or melodrama might begin to wear thin.

The Walking Dead is at its best when it asks its viewers to take a deep dive into the space between morality and evil and explore the gray areas of a post-apocalyptic world. It has succeeded in turning villains into sympathetic characters, liars into trustworthy allies, and heroes into questionable decision-makers. It’s this kind of exceptional and natural character growth that keeps people tuning back in week after week even when its action or melodrama might begin to wear thin.

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In perhaps its most unimaginable attempt to humanize a villain yet, the show has spent the last few seasons building a Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) redemption arc following three seasons of the ex-villain killing the people of Alexandria, mentally torturing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and being an all-around terrible person. The most surprising part is that the same character who took a bat to the heads of fan favorites like Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) is now growing into one of Alexandria’s most protective and effective warriors after spending years imprisoned and experiencing emotional growth.

In season 10’s twelfth episode “Walk With Us,” Negan even finished a successful long-con by killing the leader of the Whisperers, Alpha (Samantha Morton), and bringing her head to Carol (Melissa McBride) to earn himself some level of forgiveness among the residents of Alexandria. Unfortunately for him though, following the events of his infiltration, Carol left him in a field to deal with the aftermath of his prison escape alone, leading him into an unexpected run-in with Daryl (Norman Reedus), who after nearly killing Negan, decided to trust his story and set out to find Carol.

When some of the Whisperers caught up to the two travelers, they deemed Negan their new Alpha and handed him a shotgun. In turn, he slaughtered them in an attempt to prove to Daryl that he was a changed man. And though Daryl has clearly warmed up to the man who killed his friends, there’s still a substantial amount of anger and resentment left in his heart, leading many to wonder if there could ever be a true reconciliation between the two.

According to The Walking Dead producer Angela Kang though, fans may never see it happen. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said:

I think there’s a little bit of a thaw, but I don’t think he really loves this guy yet. I don’t know that he totally trusts him. He was very aware that Negan was having maybe a bit too much fun once he got the gun back from the Whisperers, and Negan is complicated, and Negan killed people that mattered a lot to Daryl. For Daryl, the loss of Glenn and Abraham was huge for him, and all these people that died in that war, and I don’t think that that’s something that’s easily left behind.

We may never see the two hard-headed fellows mend their differences, but it’s safe to say that Daryl knows that no one in the apocalypse is truly innocent. As such, there could come a time where he feels, at the very least, respect for Negan’s commitment to his new home and people.

If you’re itching to catch up on the current season of the show, AMC is now letting you stream the first eight episodes free, so there’s no time like the present. Sadly, however, you’ll have to wait until later in the year to see how things wrap up, as the finale has been delayed indefinitely.


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