Spoilers for the midseries finale of The Walking Dead ahead. If you haven't caught up yet, you've been warned.

The midseason break for The Walking Dead is crawling by like a walker with no legs. The fall finale was rather disappointing, and left us with a huge cliffhanger and the possibility of some serious bloodshed. Plus, the post episode sneak peek teasing the arrival of Negan has made the anticipated debut of one of the comic’s biggest villains almost painful. Robert Kirkman, who wrote both the comic book source material and is a contributing writer and producer for The Walking Dead TV series, recently opened up about how Negan will affect the world of TWD:
As far as shake-ups go, we have lots of shake-ups from season to season. It keeps things interesting — keeps the blood pumping, I like to say — but Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show and the show will probably never be the same after that. So buckle up, I guess?

Sounds like we’re about to enter a brand new world for The Walking Dead. The AMC series has already taken us to a variety of different locations and tonal shifts, but Robert Kirkman has promised that Negan is going to be the catalyst for the next stage of TWD.

Cast members and producers alike have been continually promising an epic and violent second half of the season. Norman Reedus has likened the remainder of Season 6 to an arrow being fired, only gaining more momentum and power as time goes on. Similarly, Andrew Lincoln has stated that the season finale is going to be the most gruesome the show has ever seen. Considering how much violence we’ve seen in the first 5 seasons, this is a bone chilling promise.

The team behind The Walking Dead has always been effective at making sure the series never gets stale or redundant. The survivors’ search for safety will presumably never be finished, as each of their “homes” have been destroyed eventually. Alexandra certainly had the ability to slow the pace of TWD if it continued to be the safe zone it began as. With a panel of the protective wall falling, and a swarm of walkers now inside the community, it definitely isn't going to be a boring set of episodes moving forward.

With Negan promising to be an atomic bomb, we can assume that safety is not going to be a possibility once he is introduced. Negan is one of the most violent villains in the comic book series. With the mouth of a sailor and his signature weapon Lucille, he commits one of the most heinous and bloody acts of murder that the comic series has ever seen. I can only assume that Negan’s first appearance will result in the fatality of one of our heroes, and then continue to wreak havoc on the group during his tenure on The Walking Dead.

While I’m scared to lose the majority of Rick’s group of survivors, I’m definitely ready for the stakes to be raised and for someone to bite the dust. Deanna’s death in the midseason finale was satisfying, but I thought that Alexandria’s compromised wall was going to result in at least one more character’s death. Tara is messed up from her injury, Eugene is still useless, and Father Gabriel might as well not be around since he’s contributing so little to this season’s story. Negan’s atomic bomb is sure to quench my bloodlust, and I couldn’t be more excited.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 14th, assuming the role of our bloody valentine.

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