Warning: spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead and Dwight's story in the Walking Dead comics.
In "The Cell," The Walking Dead finally gave fans a look at a Negan who had more to do than speechify and/or beat people to death. Life at the Sanctuary under his rule consists of guidelines, choices, and punishments. As we learned via the story of Dwight's facial scar, Negan isn't unwilling to compromise. In punishment for Dwight and Sherry fleeing the Sanctuary, Negan married Sherry and put a hot iron to Dwight's face rather than just killing one or both of them. The story goes a long way in explaining how Negan broke Dwight, but it's not exactly the same as the story from The Walking Dead comics.
In the source material, Dwight joined the Saviors with his wife Sherry, who later decided to join Negan's harem of wives in order to keep them on Negan's good side within the Sanctuary. All was as well and good as possible for life under Negan's thumb until Dwight and Sherry slept together without Negan's permission. When Negan found out, he burned Dwight's face with a hot iron to teach him a harsh lesson about what happens when rules are broken. (It definitely got Dwight to stop thinking about Sherry for a while.)
The differences between the show and comic origin stories are significant, as it often happens on this show, but it's notable that Dwight's love for Sherry plays a big part in both scenarios. In the show, he cared too much about her (and her sister's) well-being to worry about his own; in the comics, he cared too much about her to stay away. The similarities with regard to Sherry may mean that Dwight in the show may take a path similar to that of Dwight in the comics.
Comic Dwight was Negan's henchman for a long time, but Negan's habit of bragging about his ability to take Sherry whenever and wherever he wanted finally pushed Dwight over the edge, at which point he departed from the Sanctuary to build up relationships elsewhere. The show's Dwight is obviously still a ways away from breaking off from Negan and seeking outside help, and he doesn't seem to have any problem doing Negan's bidding when it involves other minions or Daryl. Sherry is clearly Dwight's soft spot; if Negan presses too many times, Dwight could very well snap and give Rick and Co. an ally of sorts within the Saviors.
Only time will tell. The episode gave a look at a whole other side of Dwight to show that there's more to him than stealing Daryl's stuff and blindly following Negan's orders. Tune into AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to see what's next for Daryl and Dwight within the walls of the Sanctuary, as well as what other changes are in store for the comic characters on The Walking Dead. And don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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