The Walking Dead's Negan is bringing a world of pain to survivors that have already gone through some truly unthinkable circumstances. When Season 7 kicks off, viewers will finally get to see just who it was that Negan killed using his barb wire-covered bat affectionately called Lucille. But as the season goes on, don't expect Lucille to be his biggest weapon. That distinction, according to star Norman Reedus, goes to his ability to inspire fear in others. Here's how the actor put it.

He's got an army of people who all call themselves Negan. They are doing everything he says. There's no way around that right now. How is Negan able to stop [Rick's] group in its tracks where others have failed? Fear is a bigger motivator than love or revenge or anything else. He is putting fear in people and that does wonders. It is particularly cruel because he uses a nursery rhyme. He's not remorseful and it's not personal. It's just going to happen...just to keep the order.

Yeah, it sounds like a corny sentiment, akin to saying something like, "The city of Alexandria really is like another character on The Walking Dead." But this is an exception, and Norman Reedus' answer to Comicbook.com makes a ton of sense. Whoever dies in the Season 7 premiere will likely be the only person (or people) to fall victim to Lucille's swing, as it would possibly weaken the signature weapon's impact if he just started smashing people with it willy nilly. Though he WILL resort to something similar if need be, the Negan of the comics is generally kind of fair in a weird way, and he doesn't just constantly kill people.

But Lucille does work as an extension of Negan's most powerful element, his expertise in turning any situation into Pee Pee Pants City. Negan makes a big initial statement and then allows it to permeate others' minds to keep them in check, and there are few statements more memorable than ones that end in a good friend's brains all over the ground.

Fear is precisely what gave so many notable oppressors their power, and Negan has the advantage of a limited population to take over, not to mention the fact that all the remaining survivors are fractured shells of their former selves. That makes it easy to build up a following, even when violence isn't the only alternative. And from what we've seen so far, Negan's Saviors are generally gung ho about doing his bidding, so it's not just fear that's inspiring these people at this point.

Rick & Co., battered and defeated though they may be, are going to have some helping hands in figuring out a way to handle Negan in Season 7, as Morgan and Carol will be a part of the introduction of Ezekiel and his Kingdom. And we might get to see even more new locations and new leaders as time goes by. But first, all bow down to Negan.

The Walking Dead will finally return to AMC for the start of Season 7 on Sunday, October 23, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is hitting the small screen soon, check out our fall TV schedule.

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