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|“||I am gonna beat the holy f-ck f-cking f-ckity f-ck out of one of you!||„|
|“||Frankly... I've just been defending myself from a bunch of ungrateful f-cks most of the time. But, mostly, I'm trying to restore order... Get things back to where they were before you came along and f-cked everything up. You see... I know what it takes for people to survive... And it's someone like me. Someone to keep everyone in line, to keep everyone preoccupied so they're not focused on how goddamn miserable they are. I'm saving lives.||„|
|~ Negan explaining his goals.|
|“||You ever hear the one about the stupid f-ck named Rick who f-cking thought he knew shit but didn't know shit and got himself f-cking killed? It was about you. You got that right?||„|
|~ Negan to Rick Grimes' group.|
|“||Look what you did. Carl didn't know a damn thing.||„|
|~ Negan to Rick after the latter cuts his throat, signaling the former's defeat once and for all.|
Negan (known as Negan Smith in the TV show) is one of the main antagonists of The Walking Dead franchise. Negan is the totalitarian and magisterial leader of The Saviors, a hostile group of outbreak survivors that are pitted against Rick Grimes' group. Although other villains exist throughout the series, Negan has been the biggest and most dangerous threat that Rick and his group have ever faced, even more so than both The Governor and Alpha.
He served as the main antagonist from Volume 17: Something to Fear to Volume 21: All Out War, Part 2. He later becomes a recurring antagonist, bordering an anti-hero, from Volume 22: A New Beginning to Volume 26: Call to Arms. He becomes an anti-hero from Volume 27: The Whisperer War and onward. He is also the titular main protagonist of his backstory, Here's Negan.
In the television series, he serves as the main antagonist of the show from the second half of Season 6 to the first half of Season 8 and later the central antagonist of the second half of Season 8, a supporting antagonist of the first half of Season 9 and then becomes an anti-hero for the second half of season 9 then goes to be the tertiary antagonist of the majority of Season 10 before being revealed to be an ally all along and then becomes a anti-hero for the remainder of season 10 and Season 11.
Negan has a unique personality. He has a penchant for provocation and power games. The stronger the resistance to his will, the more he seems to enjoy the test of wills. With insight rarely associated to violent antagonists, Negan appears to both observe and appreciate the concerns and intentions of his opposite numbers. This gives him a serious psychological advantage in most contest of wills, as he is able to anticipate and preempt an enemy's plans.
He is also shown to be a very intelligent, logical, clever and brilliant strategist. While he can be very intimidating, dangerous and brutal, he is also a strangely charismatic man with a twisted sense of humour, and with this humour comes frequent cursing. Also, while he can be very casual and jolly when speaking to an ally or enemy, he has a temper that can frighten just about anybody. Despite being violent, sadistic and murderous, he does have a compassionate and insightful side to him that comes out at times: this is shown when he makes fun of Carl's damaged eye and when Carl begins to cry, Negan quickly apologizes to the poor boy.
Also, when Negan makes fun of Olivia's weight and makes her cry, he regrets it and apologizes to her, and then offers to have sex with her if she wants to, but an offended Olivia slaps him in the face, causing Negan's men to aim their guns at her, ready to kill her. However, Negan orders his men to stand down since he knows that he crossed the line. This shows that whenever Negan crosses the line when he insults someone without measurable gain, he almost immediately tries to make up for it and can't bring himself to ignore it. Furthermore, Negan always follows his moral code: as much as he loves violence, he absolutely hates sexual violence as he finds it "unseemly", and he will not hesitate to kill anyone who commits sexual violence of any kind, friend or foe. He believes that if anyone in his group of Saviors are to commit rape, then their goal of rebuilding civilization can never be achieved.
As well as his dislike towards rape, Negan also dislikes killing people at random, which is never shown by any of the other main antagonists in the series, save for Chris and The Hunters. Negan really only wants to install fear in other people and tries to keep as many people alive as possible, hence why he called his group "The Saviors". Also, he is willing to spare anyone whom he sees as potentially useful and can be reasonable during negotiations, and he is a man of his word as he promises to help communities clear out walkers near their homes and will not destroy their communities, as long as they give him half of everything they have once a week.
Unlike other villains in the past, such as The Governor and Thomas Richards, Negan is always true to himself and is a very honest and dependable man; it is not really in his nature to lie, even if his honesty is brutal. Despite seemingly having little empathy and remorse, he can occasionally be remorseful. Unlike many other villains throughout the series, Negan does not underestimate his enemies, at least not as much as other villains do; he knows full well how battle-experienced and dangerous Rick and his group are and as a result, he admires their skills and views them as extremely useful for his cause, hence why he keeps them alive. However, he does kill one of their group members, Glenn, when they kill a dozen of his men, showing that while he wants to keep potentially useful survivors alive in order for them to work for him, Negan does not tolerate other survivors killing his men, and will give the survivors a severe but fair punishment by killing at least one member of their group.
He also has a weird and disturbing relationship with his baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, "Lucille", indicating that he is an objectophiliac. However, it is later on revealed in his back-story, Here's Negan, that he named his baseball bat after his deceased wife, Lucille, whom he loved and he wanted to dedicate his bat to her. We see that Negan still mourns the loss of his wife and loves her deeply, years after her death and admits that she was his "true" wife.
- Andy (Caused or Direct)
- David (Caused or Direct)
- Crystal (Assumed, Caused or Direct)
- Ethan (Indirectly Caused)
- Abraham Ford (Caused)
- Spencer Monroe
- Holly (Alive)
- Charles (Caused or Direct)
- Betsy (Caused or Direct)
- Mr. Orson (Caused or Direct)
- Mrs. Orson (Caused or Direct)
- Denise Cloyd (Indirectly Caused)
- Nicholas (Indirectly Caused)
- Kal (Caused)
- Brandon Rose (Alive)
- Alpha (Alive)
- Unnamed Kingdom Survivor
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and Direct)
|Appearances on The Show|
- Negan is the second major primary antagonist in the Comic Series, the first being The Governor and the third being Alpha.
- Out of all three of the antagonists, Negan has the longest lifespan and is the only one still alive.
- Also, while still a bad guy, Negan is the least evil of the three, because unlike The Governor, Negan does not really like killing people, he only kills to keep people in line, and he absolutely hates sexual violence (The Governor was a vicious rapist who raped Michonne multiple times). Plus, unlike Alpha who is a feral individual, Negan wants to rebuild civilization, and unlike Alpha, Negan does not kill children or pregnant women. And unlike Alpha, Negan hates rape and does not allow anyone in his group to rape anyone (Alpha allowed many of her male Whisperers to rape her own daughter, Lydia and other female Whisperers, numerous times because she believed that it would make them "stronger").
- Also, each of the three major antagonists has a different status: Negan is alive, The Governor is dead, and Alpha is undead.
- Charlie Adlard has confirmed that Negan is based on actor and musician Henry Rollins.
- Henry Rollins also auditioned for the role of Negan due to partially inspiring the character, but the role was eventually given to Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- Negan in both the Comic Series and TV Series are different in some ways. In the Comic Series, Negan is a very tall and physically imposing man with a shaven face, square jaw, and his leather jacket's zipper is on his left side, whereas in the TV series, while still very tall, he is thinner, has a stubble, his jaw is more round, and his leather jacket's zipper is on his right side, which is more appropriate since men's leather jackets have the zipper on the right side, while women's leather jackets have the zipper on the left side. In addition, TV Series Negan is more sadistic, disrespectful and depraved than his Comic counterpart, shown when he kills two people in Rick's group, Abraham and Glenn, instead of just one, Glenn, like in the comics, and even wanted Rick to chop off Carl's left arm or else everyone in Rick's group would be executed by Negan's men (though Negan soon reveals that it was a test and he just wanted to scare Rick into complete submission, which indeed worked), something that his Comic counterpart never did. TV Series Negan also spends far more time mocking and torturing his victims and admits that he enjoys killing people (especially men, whilst he admits that he does not enjoy killing women) under the right circumstances, while his Comic counterpart confesses to Rick in private that he does not enjoy killing people, men or women.
- Also, it is strongly implied that in the TV Series, during his debut, Negan purposely, not randomly, selected Abraham because of the man's imposing size and fearless demeanor, and Negan felt somewhat intimidated by him and felt that it was too dangerous to keep the larger man alive. Negan also probably believed that removing Abraham from Rick's group would leave the group at a certain practical disadvantage. Therefore, Negan was most likely just messing with Rick and his group with the "eenie, meeny, miney, moe" game and had already chosen to kill Abraham even before the game. Even Abraham's actor, Michael Cudlitz, agrees that Negan's game was simply a front for him to observe each member of the group and determine who was the logical choice to take out. His seemingly random choice of Glenn as his second victim supports this interpretation as well, given that Glenn had previously interrupted him. In the Comic Series, however, Negan's victim, Glenn, truly appears to have been a random selection since he gave several reasons as to why he couldn't decide as to who was going to get "Lucilled".
- Negan is the fourth major primary antagonist in the TV Series, the first being Shane Walsh, the second being The Governor, and the third being Gareth.
- In the comics, Negan's right-hand man is Dwight but the Savior that appeared in Issue 97 and 100 came close as well. In the TV Series, Negan's right hand man is Simon and the initially shared a very strong relationship. Simon is the second in command of the Saviors. The differences is that while Dwight wants to overthrow Negan as revenge, Simon wants to betray Negan out of disagreement with Negan's ideology and for the Saviors' means of survival, seeing that it would be more effective to destroy the Militia completely and find other communities to extort and potentially raid.
- From Issue 100 to Issue 111; Negan had a red scarf around his neck in the comics. However, after Issue 111, Negan has not been shown wearing that since. In the TV Series; Negan's scarf is much larger and he has been seen wearing it from time to time thus far. In Season 8 and 9; Negan has not been seen wearing the scarf. In Season 10, Negan's original leather jacket and the red scarf returned.
- TV Negan currently possesses the largest kill count out of any character on The Walking Dead and the entire Walking Dead universe, with a total of at least 225 victims.
- TV Negan currently possesses the highest kill count of any antagonist encountered on The Walking Dead.
- Also, TV Negan has officially killed more main characters than any other antagonist both directly and caused. He is responsible for the deaths of 5 main characters: Abraham Ford, Glenn Rhee, Spencer Monroe, Sasha Williams and Simon.
- TV Negan is also the first main antagonist to kill more than one main character in one episode (Abraham Ford and Glenn Rhee).
- So far, Negan has the longest lifespan out of any other main antagonist in the TV Series with a total of 33 episodes; surpassing The Governor, who had 22 episodes.
- He is also one of the two main antagonists who survived the end of the Comic Series, the other being Sebastian Milton
- Negan serves as a guest DLC character for Tekken 7.
- Negan was originally planned to be killed off on three separate occasions in the Comic Series:
- In an earlier draft for Volume 17: Something to Fear, he would've been killed of in the end of volume. It would've depicted Rick bringing Negan's decapitated head to Maggie in a box, saying "I'm sorry".
- He was planned to be killed in Issue 108. However, Robert Kirkman stated that he liked Negan "too much" to kill him off.
- He was supposed to be killed by Maggie Greene in Issue 174, but Kirkman changed his mind while writing the issue.
- When writing Issue 100, Glenn was originally supposed to be killed by Rick Grimes in order to save his son. Kirkman disliked this idea, and thus Negan was born.
- In the Letter Hacks for Issue 182, it was stated by Robert Kirkman that Negan wouldn't be making any more appearances past Issue 174. He reiterated this statement in the Letter Hacks for Issue 192.
- However, he was shown to still be alive in Issue 193 and the spin-off comic Negan Lives.