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The Walking Dead TV series on AMC has made some major divergences from the comic source material over the six seasons so far. Some comic characters that died long ago are still alive on the show, and some show plot twists never came even close to happening in the comics. We're in for one of the biggest changes so far when Season 7 kicks off this fall, and it could be awesomely terrifying. Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has this to say about what to expect in Season 7:
We'll find out how Negan has come to be who he is. We're going to get some backstory very quickly on how the Saviors operate and how Negan operates.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan hinted that we will be seeing some of the Negan origin story in a chat with EW, and it paints a curious picture of Season 7. One of the reasons why Negan was so scary when he made his comic debut was that he was kind of a blank slate with a baseball bat. He more or less came out of nowhere to bash somebody in the face and declare supremacy of the zombie apocalypse. If we'd had much information in the way of Negan's rise to Negan-ness, he might not have been quite as unsettling. The mystery worked for the comics.
But a mysterious character on the page could seem two-dimensional on the screen, especially when viewed as a warlord as he's depicted in the trailer, and the last thing we need from The Walking Dead is a villain who doesn't live up to the build. After Rick and Co. destroyed Terminus within the span of an episode and the Wolves turned out to be a bust, the show needs a big win on the villain front. A fulled fleshed-out Negan, who is shown both to be crazily brutal and surprisingly smart (in bringing the Saviors together in such a manner) may be exactly what is necessary to elevate Season 7 into one of the best seasons to date.
Of course, comic scribe Robert Kirkman did recently reveal a little bit of what Negan had been up to before the zombie apocalypse in an unexpectedly depressing prologue of sorts, but the reveal came four years after Negan had made his grand and bloody Walking Dead comic debut, so it's unclear how much of that will make its way in. Plus, this sounds like we'll get to see more of how Negan came to power as the leader of the Saviors, and possibly how the Sanctuary was brought into it. That's something else we only got hints of in the comic book.
The Walking Dead has delved into the origins of some of the most despicable villains in seasons past. The Governor exposited some of what happened to him before the world ended, and he got a two-parter in Season 4 about his adventures after the fall of Woodbury. Even Gareth got a few scenes of flashback to explain why he and the other survivors at Terminus turned to eating people. Considering that Negan is going to be around for a long time, he may as well get some early backstory. Hopefully that backstory just won't water him down right after he beat somebody to death with a baseball bat.
Negan and the rest of the Saviors will be back when Season 7 premieres on Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Check out our breakdown of what we know so far about The Walking Dead Season 7, and don't forget to take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to watch in the near future.