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When it comes to TV villains, few out there can fittingly stand toe to toe with The Walking Dead's Negan, and not just because the big bad has blood and guts all over the toes of his boots. A character that fans hate to love, and vice versa, Negan has made quite an impact in his time on the AMC drama, and when speaking to CinemaBlend about The Walking Dead's Season 8 Blu-ray, franchise star Lennie James spoke with CinemaBlend about why Lucille's owner is such a great villain.
First and foremost, let's all agree that as strong as Negan is as a character in the comics, his TV magnificence is wholly tied to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's exuberant swagger in the role. The leather jacket, coupled with the rest of his usual costume, only adds to the badassery aesthetic. Though realistically, Negan could be wearing footsie pajamas and a helicopter beanie and would still come across as a bulldozer of intimidation.
A sadistic bully with more charisma than most survivors had even before walkers took over the planet, Negan saves himself from being a next-level monster by keeping himself grounded in the belief that he's not the evil tyrant in any of these situations. Yes, he very much intentionally murdered Glenn and Abraham (and Spencer and Emmett and Simon and others), but he did these things only after those people betrayed him in major ways. I mean, it's not Negan's fault that there aren't any real forms of authority and punishment anymore, right?
To extend that point, Lennie James spoke a bit further about how easy it would be for viewers to flip opinions about The Walking Dead's true antagonists, since all one would need to do is just pick up on the narrative during Season 7 or 8, instead of back when Rick woke up from his coma. In James' words:
Of course, no one in Team Family's ranks gets quite as loquacious about things as Negan does, so just listening to him for a while would be all the real proof one needed about how morally respectable the character actually is.
Relive all of the havoc of the All Out War when The Walking Dead: The Complete Eighth Season hits Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, August 21. Fans will be able to learn even more about those twisted final moments between Negan and Rick thanks to the cast and crew commentary track for the finale. And there are more commentaries and a handful of behind-the-scenes features delving into bringing the War to TV, Carl's death, and more.