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When The Walking Dead came back from its midseason hiatus last year, almost everything changed for the characters. Not only were Rick & Co. introduced to a brand new location, the semi-safe haven Alexandria, but the group was also being followed by Morgan, a character we hadn’t seen since Season 3. Morgan has now become an integral part of the storyline, and though fans might assume that the character’s comic book presence is the main reason Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman brought him back into the fold, it was actually the fans themselves. Way to go, us!
This sweet piece of insight comes from Morgan himself, as the ego-free Lennie James shared his thoughts with BT.com.
Something has clicked in the way Morgan's story has been told and part of the reason he is back in the show and he has this history with the show is because fans have been so very vocal in letting everybody connected with the show know they like Morgan. I'm humbled by it and deeply appreciative of it, I'm very protective of Morgan and I love playing this character, but I don’t want to know what it is that the writers are doing that is making this character so loved, because I’m worried it will jinx it and get in the way of doing what we’re doing it.
So if you’ve ever had someone in your life that told you that sharing your opinion will never do any good – and hopefully you don’t have any of those people around – then Morgan and his face-smashing bo will serve as proof that being outspoken can bring awesome changes about. We the people have ultimately made The Walking Dead a better show.
Like many others, I was already a huge fan of Morgan from the comics, and Lennie James has perfectly embodied that character, though he’s seen his share of changes on the small screen. James’ acting is even more impressive considering he’s basically played the guy three completely different ways over the years. First as a mostly calm widower trying to keep his son safe, then as a suicidal lunatic who lost his only child, and now as a meditative former loner with a dry sense of humor whose methods of survival include “not killing anyone because life is precious.”
It’d be one thing if the Walking Dead creative team decided to appease people by just bringing him back for one or two episodes, but he’s a major part of Season 6, and his relationship with Rick will inform a lot of the drama. Hell, they’re even giving him his own flashback episode to show us how he got to this current headspace. That’s some major fan service.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.