Some people are so iconic they don't need a last name for an audience to recognize them. Prince, Madonna, and Cher all secured that legacy, and The Walking Dead's Negan has arguably earned that honor as well. While the villain has committed plenty of horrific and legendary atrocities throughout the course of the comic book and TV show to earn that one-name title, that's not the reason why creator Robert Kirkman said he never gave Negan a last name. According to Kirkman, such tasks can be kinda boring.
So basically, the biggest villain in the entire Walking Dead franchise doesn't have a distinct surname because Robert Kirkman thought it was more interesting that way. Though it also sounds like Kirkman abhors the process of compiling name pools to choose from, which does not sound like the most entertaining part of writing a zombie series, to his credit. Plus, when your hero has a perfectly crafted name like Rick Grimes, it can be hard to nail it just as perfectly on the flip side.
When speaking to the crowds at this year's Walker Stalker Cruise, Robert Kirkman did relent by offering Negan some fake last names, but only after fans pestered him multiple times with the question. He cracked up the panel with these two potential suggestions for Negan's last name: "Smith" and "Asshole."
Negan's lack of a last name wasn't the only thing about the character Robert Kirkman made definitive, as he also confirmed "Negan" is definitely the villain's first name. (Which would seem obvious by now, considering Negan doesn't have a last name, but still.) But not before Andrew Lincoln and others could craft jokes and theories about Negan being the last name of the Saviors leader, and that the villain's actual first name was something far more embarrassing. That's a shame, as it would be great if the reason Negan carried Lucille was to bash the skulls of anyone who knew his real first name was "Pendleton" or "Effervescence" or something like that.
While Robert Kirkman essentially confirmed revealing Negan's last name is off the table for The Walking Dead when returns to finish Season 8, Jeffrey Dean Morgan said fans will get more insight into the complicated character. Morgan said that no Negan backstory scenes were filmed in Season 8, but that fans will be able to learn a bit more about his character in some one-on-one interactions with other characters. After all, there has to be some more interesting and unknown aspects to Negan's life beyond the fact he doesn't have a last name, right?
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what other shows are coming to television around that time, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.