Why AMC’s The Walking Dead Needed Negan
With the continuation of Season 7 of The Walking Dead airing tonight, long-time fan of the series, Nat, has a lengthy discussion as to why LaughingMan, someone who couldn’t be arsed to get caught up in the drama of the series, is actually tuning in to watch the series.
The short answer is “Negan”, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The baseball bat wielding villain not only oozes charisma, but, despite what the critics at Forbes believe, has a captivating story-arch that not only sets him apart from the other characters portrayed in the past seasons, but who is possibly saving The Walking Dead from itself. Between the onslaught of violence and character deaths that should come with a suicide hot-line number at the end of every episode, Negan offers not only dark humor levity, but a complex character dynamic that, according to the original comic series, should begin rearing its head in the episodes to come.
Negan is a complex villain, a conqueror and dictator along the lines of Genghis Khan, who is working to build a functioning society using brutal tactics necessary in a brutal post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world. After all, it’s not the zombies that the protagonists often find themselves at odds with, but the other desperate survivors in this chaotic landscape. And for society to be put back in order, a brutal character that can unite these packs of raiders and survivors, and bind them by a set of laws and principals, is necessary. Enter Negan, a troubled man who believes that “the strong should protect the weak” and punishes crimes like adultery and rape with violent efficiency. However, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s portrayal of Negan in The Walking Dead is possibly distorting the character of Negan that the fans of the graphic novel have come to know and love as the character seems to have devolved from a barbaric alpha leader to more of a psychopath that enjoys inflicting violence a little too much.