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|“||It occurs to me that I've not yet received the full definition of an apology. I feel like I've gotten some transgressional acknowledgment, the guns certainly cover restitution. But what I'm not yet feeling... Is the remorse. (...) SAY IT AGAIN! (...) Ohhh. No, no, no. [laughs] Ohh! Ah. I don't think you mean that!... Light it up, gents. LIGHT IT UP NOW!||„|
|~ Simon ordering the massacre of Jadis' group.|
Simon is a major antagonist in the AMC television series The Walking Dead. He was a high-ranking member of The Saviors and the right-hand man of their tyrannical founder Negan. In Season 8, he temporarily acts as the de-facto leader of the Saviors after briefly usurping Negan's position.
He serves as the secondary antagonist of the show from the second half of Season 6 to the first half of Season 8, the main antagonist of the second half of Season 8 (until Negan retakes that role for the finale) and a posthumous antagonist in Season 9.
Simon is a wildly unpredictable and brutally sadistic sociopath. Much like Negan, he is shown to be very charismatic and intelligent to a fault. Initially, he appeared to be completely loyal to Negan. As such, he was highly valued by Negan as a right-hand man, which was proven in the first episode he appeared in, where he single-handedly managed to divert Rick and his group into a trap through cleverly placed roadblocks preventing them from escorting a pregnant Maggie to the Hilltop, where he finally intimidates Rick into submission ready for extortion.
However, in spite of being an intelligent and dangerously effective right-hand man, Simon is in many ways a reckless and ambitious individual. Unlike Negan, Simon is much more destructive and bloodthirsty, and he appears to completely lack remorse. He is generally much more willing to resort to mass murder to achieve the Saviors' means of survival, which has resulted in hundreds of people from different communities dying by his hands. It is known that Simon is solely responsible for the massacre of the Scavengers, the library survivors and all of the male residents from Oceanside. This behavior appears to have clashed with Negan's ideology multiple times, who is more willing to kill at least one or a few people as a punishment to drive other communities into submission, as well as seeing that needlessly killing people is a waste of resources. This is first apparent when Negan scolds Simon for suggesting that they raid the Hilltop during their meeting for the upcoming war. Negan even goes as far as to admit from his perspective that Simon is "a demented, broken, god damned ghoul", making it clear that he is has been extremely wary of keeping Simon around as his right-hand man.
In addition to his dangerous presence and ruthless methods, Simon is shown to have a short temper, first seen when he lashes out at Gregory for failing to convince the Hilltoppers to surrender to Negan. As such, it is evident that his temper has heavily contributed to his cruel actions, especially with his action taken against the Scavengers and barely holds back his rage after unexpectedly killing Neil in front of Maggie.
Over the course of the series, Simon gradually loses faith in Negan as a leader and openly criticizes his system of dealing with other communities, seeing it as ineffective and useless as they keep fighting back against the Saviors' tyranny. His thinning patience with Negan is even driven to the point where he eventually betrays Negan and usurps his position of leadership by taking advantage of Rick's ambush on Negan, almost getting Negan killed in the process and later attempts to organize a plot to eliminate Negan with a group of Saviors under his command once Negan returns to the Sanctuary. His betrayal ultimately backfires and results in Negan personally beating him down and then strangling him to death.
It seemed as though Simon's true loyalty lied with the Saviors rather than Negan himself, as he appears to be willing to do anything he feels necessary for the Saviors' survival as a whole and wishes to branch out to other outposts and communities, as well as to win the war against the Militia to keep the Saviors moving forward. However, his actions to achieve such goals were, in the end, selfish, savage, rash and uncompromising, as his goal to move the Saviors forward became increasingly hollow when he decided that his men held hostage at the Hilltop had outlived their usefulness due to them being weak in his eyes and ultimately betrayed Negan to gain power for himself.
It isn't too blatant, but Simon is fairly cowardly. He prefers gunning down the Scavengers only after they surrender their weaponry, retreats from Hilltop when the Saviors' poorly-planned purge goes awry (for which Negan directly calls him a coward while choking him to death), and fights dirty during his final brawl with Negan.
- Library Survivor (Caused, Alive)
- Dean (Indirectly Caused)
- Brion (Alive)
- Tamiel (Alive)
- Tobin (Caused)
- Kurt (Caused)
- Kevin (Caused)
- Dana (Caused)
- Wesley (Caused)
- Katy (Caused)
- Bruce (Caused)
- Gary (Indirectly Caused)
- All male Oceanside residents above the age of ten (Caused or Direct)
- Many unnamed Library survivors (Caused or Direct)
- At least 130 unnamed Scavengers (Caused and Direct, Alive)
- Several members of the Militia
- At least 14 unnamed Saviors (Indirectly Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
|“||Why the face? I hope you're not putting this on us... When we showed your people a way forward, we gave you rules. You broke the rules, so folks had to die. The one who fired the first shot we strung him up to make an example of him! Could've stopped there! But you people, you still didn't listen. You wanted to fight... us! So this, is how it has to be!!||„|
|~ Simon beats up a fleeing survivor in his first appearance.|
|“||Think about it - what if it’s the last day on Earth for you? For someone you love? What if that’s true? Maybe you should be extra nice to those people in that RV, ’cause you never know... just like that. Be kind to each other. Like you said... like it was your last day on Earth.||„|
|~ Simon to Rick Grimes, advising him to care for his fellow group members.|
|“||Simon: Good! You made it! Welcome to where you're goin'. We'll take your weapons. Now.
Rick: We can talk about it!
Simon: We're done talking! Time to listen.
|~ Simon captures Rick and confiscates his group's weapons.|
|“||Alright! We got a full boat! Let's meet the man.||„|
|~ Simon introduces Negan to Rick's group.|
|“||Sorry, I shouldn't ask... You wanna slide that one, back in, period.||„|
|~ Simon to Gregory.|
|“||Simon: One last thing, Gregory. Can I just get a kneel out of you?
Gregory: Excuse me?
|~ Simon threateningly reinforces Gregory into submission.|
|“||Oh, and Rick! If Daryl does turn up here... two days from now, two months from now... hell, even two years from now, just know that there's no statute of limitations on this. Keep that hatchet handy! You're gonna need it if he turns up with you people! And it won't turn out the way it did for your boy.||„|
|~ Simon to Rick, threatening to kill Daryl should he return to Alexandria.|
|“||...I think my look may have conveyed the information. People say I have an expressive face. But if not, let me repeat your question: Why do we need two doctors? Answer: we don't.||„|
|~ Simon callously informs Harlan Carson of his brother's death.|
|“||Hey, you like ice cream? We have ice cream. We have a lady that makes cardamom gelato! Shit ya not.||„|
|~ Simon tries to cheer Harlan up before he takes him to the Sanctuary.|
- When he was first introduced in the Season 6 finale, Simon was simply credited as the Lead Savior.
- Simon is possibly the TV Series counterpart to the Savior that is seen in the comics in Issue 97 and 100. However in the comics, the Savior was not named and did not play a huge role in the comics as Simon does. He also has some similarities with Connor, a lieutenant of the Saviors in the comics, who orchestrated Rick's group to be captured and died before All Out War.
- Simon is an original character and does not have a comic counterpart, similar to Daryl Dixon.
- Simon shares some similarities to the popular character, Trevor Philips. Coincidentally, they were portrayed by the same actor, as well as the fact that Trevor's casting call name was Simon. The only difference between the two is that while Trevor may be more psychotic than Simon, Simon doesn't have any of Trevor's redeeming qualities, and/or loyalty.
- The similarities between the two characters and the fact that they are both portrayed by the same actor is likely what increased Simon's popularity among viewers, as his role was changed from a recurring role to season regular.
- The name Simon is derived from the Hebrew name "Shim'on" meaning ‘he has heard’.
- Steven Ogg noted that he cited the film The Big Short as inspiration for Simon’s backstory.
- Simon appears to hold an interest in art, as expressed by his admiration of a masterpiece portrait of Charles V owned by Gregory which he accurately described as 'management by example".
- Simon enjoys alcoholic beverages most notably gin and tequila, however he dislikes scotch as he personally describes it as "ashtrays and window cleaner".
- He is far more intelligent than the majority of the Saviors as seen in Season 6 finale, when he orchestrated the capture of Rick's group with an intriguing plan that involved several, carefully planned and elaborate road blocks.
- Simon is far more ruthless than Negan as shown in his first appearance when he orchestrated the mass slaughter at the Library, and then goes on to exterminate the Scavengers in front of their leader: Jadis. It is later revealed that he orchestrated the mass murder of every male survivor from Oceanside. When he suggests that they should do the same thing at the Hilltop, Negan furiously reminds Simon to not start "backsliding", implying that their relationship has been strained ever since the Oceanside incident.
- Despite his leadership skills, what sets Simon apart from Negan is that even he is not able to control the toughest of situations. During Negan's short absence, the workers started to revolt and none of Negan's lieutenants managed to calm things down as rationally as Negan. In addition, his violent methods are shown to be very reckless, in that he got many of Negan's men killed during the Hilltop raid in spite of dealing a large blow to the Militia, while his massacre of the Scavengers ended up backfiring after Negan had learned the truth of what occurred at the junkyard and made his promise to avenge Jadis' people for her.
- Out of all of the secondary antagonists in The Walking Dead, Simon has the longest lifespan thus far.
- Additionally, he is the only character to be the secondary antagonist for more than half a season.
- Simon has killed the second largest amount of living people, having a total of at least 172 victims (including himself). Negan has the largest with a total of 225 victims.
- Following both Negan's question about Simon "backsliding" and Simon's extermination of the Scavengers, it had been heavily theorized that Simon is responsible for wiping out all the male Oceanside residents aged 10 and above. Another supporting factor to this is how slow and stern Negan was when telling Simon to just kill one Scavenger, hinting that they have had issues in the past over an incident.
- Furthermore, when talking to the Library Survivor, it was implied that he also had this group completely wiped out; something that was later confirmed in that same episode when Carol and Morgan came across and stayed in the library.
- It is eventually confirmed in the episode "Worth" that Simon was indeed responsible for the Oceanside massacre.
- As of Season 8, Simon is the second high-ranking Savior to turn against Negan, the first being Dwight.
- However, their motives for betrayal are completely different. While Dwight acts as a double-agent to help the Militia overthrow and kill Negan out of revenge, Simon simply wants to take control of the Saviors to survive and take matters into his own hands by wiping out the Militia because of how he now sees Negan as an ineffective leader.
- Overall, Simon is the third member of Negan's council to die during the war, the first one being Gavin and the second being Gary.