How The Walking Dead Actually Introduced Negan

Spoilers for The Walking Dead’s Season 6 midseason finale are swinging bats up and down the streets below.

So much joy (and possibly disappointment) can come from seeing a piece of written fiction getting adapted to live-action, as it’s always ingriguing to see and hear things that had previously only existed in the imagination. While we have yet to actually lay eyes on Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the mega-villain Negan, the Walking Dead midseason finale finally let viewers in on the fact that he exists in his universe, and it came in a line that comic fans presumably giggled with glee at.

Your property now belongs to Negan.

You’re goddamned right it does! And it’s made all the more awesome that his name is spoken to Daryl, Abraham and Sasha, three of the show’s biggest badasses. No mere name is going to give these three worry, but it should. Even more so than the big group of Saviors right in front of them, stealing their weapons and supplies, down to the napkin stash. Negan can’t possibly be so evil that he wants everyone’s stashed napkins, can he? Absolutely. Check out the whole scene below.

The semi-iconic moment didn’t come during the actual episode, in which the on-the-road trio never appeared. It came as a two-minute prologue during the first commercial break for Into the Badlands, which is as solid a promotional tool for a show as possible, and one so devious that only a sociopathic murderer could come up with it. It was absolutely worth the wait, however, although I admittedly just turned off my TV at that point. Or is it Negan’s TV now?

I like how The Saviors are kind of like what Daryl would be a part of had his story gone in a different direction. First he had his crossbow stolen by Dwight a few weeks ago (to viewers, not Daryl), and now he's facing a huge pack of ruffians on motorcycles. He'll probably end up running into another character named Darrell, and they have to choose who keeps the name, which would be similar to that other post-apocalyptic show Last Man on Earth.

As much of a monster as Negan is, his game is a fairly simple one. You give him most of your shit, and he uses that shit to keep his people happy. And he usually won't take all of it, though that wasn't the case tonight. But if you try to refuse him, or you do something equally stupid that pisses him off, and you probably won't get a second chance. That kind of behavior leads to truly brutal moments, and we somewhat sadistically can't wait to see them happen.

For now, though, we just have the single mention of his name, which is still pretty amazing.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC on Sunday, February 14, during which we're probably going to hear a lot about the leather jacket-wearing Negan before we actually see him.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.