The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (2023)

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (1)

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (2)

For ten+ years, I have been a loyal fan of The Walking Dead. I have trudged through some of the worst deaths to make my way here. I have smiled through the most heartwarming moments, and I have somehow, someway, done it all without losing interest in the show despite it constantly being about the same thing - evil humans and walkers.

But I’ve come to realize why, and that’s because of one man - Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who popped up on our TV screens and broke our The Walking Dead minds at the tail end of Season 6. Now, with The Walking Dead Season 11 upon us as part of the 2021 fall TV schedule, I knew I needed to talk about this man and give him the honor he deserves, as one of the best characters that we can watch on TV right now.

And obviously, a big old SPOILER WARNING is needed.

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (3)

Negan Is A Morally Gray Man Who Isn’t Quite Good Or Quite Bad At This Point On The Walking Dead

One of the many things I love about Negan on The Walking Dead is that he’s just morally gray. At first in Season 6, he was presented to us as a villain, this evil man who murdered Glenn and Abraham, and was planning on taking over the communities by taking all their stuff.

As the series goes on, however, we start to learn that Negan isn’t all that one-dimensional. He’s not just this evil man that wants to take over people for the sake of power. As we found out at the end of Season 10, he didn’t just make the Saviors because he wanted to take over. He was trying to keep his wife alive and a series of bad situations led to him creating the group. Over time, he gained respect from his group members, becoming the leader.

But back in Season 7, when Negan was still perceived as the villain, he still had his morals. He never allowed rape in the Savior compound, and tried to make sure that people there were treated fairly, despite him being a brutal killer. He’s a very complex man with a strange set of moral rules, but that’s what makes him so compelling in the first place.

Even in Season 10, when he helps Carol defeat Alpha, there’s quite a bit of questioning to see if he’d actually do it after everything he had been through, but he does. That creates a very compelling character.

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (4)

(Video) How Negan Became The Best Character In The Walking Dead

As A Leader, Negan Did Actually Listen To What People Had To Say

I think one of my favorite parts about Negan is that he wasn’t a dictator when he was a leader, although he very well could have been. While he’s not a leader now in any way shape or form at Alexandria, during his time with the Saviors, he did actually give a crap about what his men had to say, and valued people’s skills.

For example, while Eugene was acting as a double agent during the entirety of Season 8 against the Saviors, we didn’t know that as viewers until the very end. However, while Eugene was there, Negan valued his skills. He valued what he had to bring to the table. He didn’t just order him to start building stuff or else he died.

Would there be consequences if he didn’t? Of course there would - there always are in situations like this. But at the same time, Negan still saw what Eugene could do for them and listened to what people had to say.

Negan Has A Sympathetic Side Towards Children

While Negan in The Walking Dead has a lot of people he hates - and I mean a lot of people - he always cares about children. He cares about the safety of them, and believes that they shouldn’t have to deal with the world that is being pushed upon them. Two great examples of this are both his relationships with Carl and Judith Grimes.

Carl is a more complex relationship, because Carl did despise the man just as anyone did from Alexandria at the time. But Negan actually admired Carl. He admired that the kid wasn’t afraid to confront him and try and kill him, saying that he had major balls to do so. Even when Carl is bit and dies, you can visibly see that Negan is upset by this. He never meant for any children to get hurt, especially Carl.

Later on, years down the line when Judith is older, you can see this relationship building between Judith and Negan. Obviously, she isn't dumb. She knows what Negan has done in the past. But she sees past that and constantly talks to him, and he talks back, creating a fun dynamic between the two, despite him not being the biggest fan of all the adults there. He even helps her with her homework - I mean, how can you not love him?

And this is continued at the very end of Season 9 when Negan saves Judith - and Dog - from the crazy blizzard that happened, showing that while he's made horrible decisions, he still wants to try and make up for it, and that begins with his compassion towards children.

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (6)

Negan Realizes The Error Of His Ways Over Time, And Isn’t Stuck In The Past

One of my favorite episodes of The Walking Dead is “Here’s Negan,” the final episode of Season 10, showing Negan’s backstory. This episode is a key part in Negan’s character arc, because it proves, yet again, that Negan is not stuck in the past.

He knows what he’s done wrong. He knows that he made bad decisions and that he has to atone for them. But what makes this even better is that he moves on from his past entirely - even burning his beloved bat that he named after his dead wife, Lucille. This in my eyes was him coming to peace with his past.

He was constantly haunted by the image of his deceased wife, of the people that he killed, of everything, but now, this was his chance to finally move on and become a better version of who he was - at least by a little bit. And then, he returns to Alexandria, accepting whatever fate is coming for him.

It’s the perfect way to show that he’s not Negan from the Saviors anymore. He even got rid of one of the most iconic things about him - his bat - to show it. He’s just Negan. Not good, not bad, just a guy who had to just survive somehow.

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (7)

But Negan Is Still Negan On The Walking Dead - And With That, He’s Still Cocky

Even so, Negan on The Walking Dead is still Negan. He’s still kind of an asshole who cracks jokes and acts cocky. Even when he was trying to attempt to get on people’s good side, he still made jokes that probably would make them not so happy, because that’s just who he is.

We see this perfectly at the end of Season 10 when Negan comes back to Alexandria. He walks in and sees Maggie glaring at him - the wife of the deceased Glenn - but he only smirks back. For someone who wants to try and stay alive, usually you wouldn’t do that, but he’s Negan. He’s not like everyone else.

He knows he’s walking on thin ice there, and knows the consequences of his actions. He’s tried his best to prove his worth. But at the same time, he’s not going to let that deter him from being who he is - a cocky man with a killer swing. And truly, I can’t wait to see more of that with the group in Season 11 of The Walking Dead.

(Video) 10 Reasons Why Negan Is The Best Villain On TV

Out of all the character relationships on The Walking Dead, I think I’m going to miss Negan and his bat the most. Regardless, with this being the final season of this iconic zombie show (at least until the spinoff with Daryl and Carol comes out), I’m going to be watching with bated breath to see where Negan goes from here, and what enemies he might get to smash down next. He was one of the best villains, but he's also one of the best characters too.

Up next:

Why It's Time To Give The Walking Dead Another Chance

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (8)

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The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now (9)

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(Video) Is Negan an Evil Character? - The Walking Dead

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!

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FAQs

The Walking Dead: 5 Reasons Why Negan Is One Of The Best Characters On TV Right Now? ›

Negan's heroic act shows that he has done a lot of growing since his early days as a villain, and he definitely had the opportunity to escape from his captors. Negan's actions were a sign of good faith toward the group and his strong bond with Judith as well.

Why Negan is the best character? ›

Negan's heroic act shows that he has done a lot of growing since his early days as a villain, and he definitely had the opportunity to escape from his captors. Negan's actions were a sign of good faith toward the group and his strong bond with Judith as well.

Why is Negan good now? ›

He earns the trust of the other survivors by honoring the memory of Carl, who had believed in Negan's redemption before his death. Negan does not become a pure altruist, but he does demonstrate acts of compassion that show he is committed to becoming a better person.

Is Negan one of the best villains of all time? ›

Negan is the most formidable villain that our group ever faced. Whenever a new threat arose, we as the audience never saw our group lose complete control. We never saw Rick give up the way he did when Negan had them cornered. Negan was a villain full of charisma and charm.

When did Negan become good? ›

Episode 16 – the season's makeshift finale — sees Daryl confronting Negan, calling him selfish for not wanting to join in the plan to help finish Beta and the Whisperers. Negan is finally redeemed when he works together with Daryl in the final battle to take down Beta, with each saving the other.

Who was the most loved character in TWD? ›

10 Biggest Fan-Favorite Walking Dead Characters, Ranked
  • 3 Fans Rooted For Daryl.
  • 4 Fans Loved To Hate Negan. ...
  • 5 Judith Had Rick And Michonne's Best Traits. ...
  • 6 Rick Has Much More Story To Tell. ...
  • 7 Michonne Will Feature In A Spin-Off With Rick. ...
  • 8 Morgan Was Rick's Trusted Ally. ...
  • 9 Hershel Was Sweet And Kind. ...
  • 10 Eugene Was Beloved. ...
Dec 16, 2022

Who is stronger Negan or Beta? ›

There's no way that Negan would beat Beta in a one-on-one fight. A lot of Negan's power over people is psychological, not necessarily physical – he's able to convince people that they need him in charge to survive even though they likely could hold their own against him.

Why Negan is better than Rick? ›

Better Leader: He Is Always Two Steps Ahead

He always keeps himself two steps ahead of his opponents - if not a few more, just to be safe. He has proven himself as a great strategic thinker when it comes to leadership and all out war, and it's difficult to double cross him without him suspecting it first.

Is Negan a psychopath or a sociopath? ›

Negan is one of the most sociopathic characters in all of television history, and easily the most evil of The Walking Dead villains, so far.

Does Negan care about anyone? ›

Negan has formed bonds with both Judith and Lydia, but he still doesn't have anyone who truly loves him. The only people he really has to talk to are children, and even then, with caution.

Who is the guy obsessed with Negan? ›

At some point in the apocalypse, Brandon and his parents somehow came into contact with a group named "the Saviors" which they subsequently joined, during where he developed an obsession with Negan and his leadership based on stories told by his father.

Who is worse Alpha or Negan? ›

1 Winner: Negan

Negan was also able to turn the mood around when required, shifting from dangerous to charming within seconds — both of which spelled bad news for the protagonists. Even now, as he transitions toward the good side, we can't fully trust him to once again become the villain.

Who was the worst bad guy in The Walking Dead? ›

From the first minute he appeared on screens in Season 7, audiences knew that Negan would be the cruelest villain on The Walking Dead. Wielding Lucille, his trademark bat swanned in barbed wire, Negan violently murdered two beloved characters, Glenn and Abraham, breaking the hearts of long-time fans.

Who got killed by Negan first? ›

To further coerce them, Negan selects one of them to bash in their head with "Lucille", a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. His selected victim is Abraham, who remains defiant after the first strike. Negan proceeds to pulverize Abraham's head to a pulp, as the others recoil in horror.

Does Negan regret killing Glenn? ›

Negan expresses remorse for killing Glenn to Maggie, after finally understanding what she went through after nearly being executed himself in a similar situation to his execution of Glenn.

Was Negan in love with Alpha? ›

In Robert Kirkman's comics, Negan is attracted to Alpha, but the two never have a sexual relationship.

Who is Negan's best friend? ›

Simon, as portrayed by Steven Ogg in the television series. Simon is the second-in-command of the Saviors and the personal right-hand man of the Saviors' leader, Negan.

Who is the best killer on TWD? ›

Negan - Kill Count: 265

Negan is the best-known villain in TWD history, and despite his many wrongdoings, remains a fan-favorite character.

Who did Negan recognize as Beta? ›

Beta on The Walking Dead

We also find out that Beta in the series is a celebrity like his comic book counterpart, a famous basketball player turned actor. In the series, he is the singer Half Moon, who Alpha and Negan recognize. Half Moon is the only character to appear in all three of The Walking Dead universe series.

Who is the most skilled fighter in The Walking Dead? ›

Paul Rovia, otherwise known as Jesus, was arguably the most capable and skilled fighter The Walking Dead had seen. With a strong semblance of martial arts training, Jesus was incredibly agile, and that gave him a huge advantage against enemies who might have underestimated him due to his thin physicality.

Who is the villain after Negan? ›

Simon is a major antagonist in the AMC television series The Walking Dead. He was a high-ranking member of the Saviors and the right-hand man of their tyrannical founder, Negan. In Season 8, he temporarily acts as the de-facto leader of the Saviors after briefly usurping Negan's position.

Did Negan respect Rick? ›

10 Negan has always held a great deal of respect for Rick

He also respected that Rick was willing to make the tough decision, even if it meant ruffling a few feathers.

Does Negan fear Rick? ›

He sees Rick as someone who understands the burden of leadership. He truly means it when he tells Rick that he killed more men “than I am comfortable with.” Negan expects losses. He isn't very attached to anyone. But Rick is making his life inconvenient.

Who is more powerful than Rick? ›

Turns out Unity is a lot more powerful than Rick since she can consume whole universes.

What mental illness did Negan have? ›

Negan, like all of the characters nominated for Best Villain, show some of the diagnostic criteria of an antisocial personality disorder.

What personality is Negan? ›

Unlike other villains in the series, such as The Governor and Thomas Richards, Negan is always true to himself and is a very honest man; it is not really in his nature to lie, even if his honesty is brutal. Despite seemingly having little empathy and remorse, he can show remorse occasionally.

Do psychopaths have high IQ? ›

Manipulative, dishonest and lacking in empathy – the traits that describe a psychopath aren't particularly pleasant. But the idea that they are also fiendishly clever – as often portrayed in films and TV – isn't quite true. In fact, in general, psychopaths seem to have below-average intelligence.

Did Negan love Maggie? ›

There Was Never Any Romance Between Negan and Maggie

Negan's love for Annie also confirms he was never making eyes at Maggie, meaning those hints of sexual chemistry earlier in The Walking Dead season 11 must've been misread.

Is Negan an A or B? ›

"And you saw that both Rick and Gabriel, and also Negan, were going to get zombie bites applied to them." All three of them were considered to be an "A" in Anne's book.

Who kills Negan? ›

No, Negan does not die in The Walking Dead. He has come close to death on many occasions, and none more so in the season 8 finale when Rick Grimes finally destroys him and his vicious saviors before opting to save his life and make him a prisoner of Alexandria.

Who does Negan get pregnant with? ›

In the series finale, Maggie allowed Negan and his pregnant wife, Annie, to remain part of the group.

Why does Negan love Lucille so much? ›

As his wife stood by him and helped him get through life before the apocalypse, the bat is a symbolic reminder of her. He has quite an obsession with "Lucille". He speaks of the bat as if she were a person, calling her "awesome" and a "dirty girl". He is almost always seen carrying her.

Who did Negan want to marry? ›

Does Alpha sleep with Negan? ›

'Walking Dead' midseason premiere: how Negan and Alpha's surprising sex scene came to life.

Who has the most human kills in The Walking Dead? ›

Kill Counts
  • Rick Grimes (Comics) - 175.
  • Michonne Hawthorne (Comics) - 137.
  • Andrea Grimes (Comics) - 120.
  • The Governor (TV Show) - 79.
  • Samora Sinclair (Fear The Walking Dead: The Althea Tapes) - 59.
  • Shane Walsh (TV Show) - 58.
  • The Governor (Comics) - 44.
  • Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas (TV Show) - 39.

What was the worst thing Negan did? ›

He is responsible for the deaths of 5 main characters: Abraham Ford, Glenn Rhee, Spencer Monroe, Sasha Williams and Simon. TV Negan is also the first main antagonist to kill more than one main character in one episode (Abraham Ford and Glenn Rhee).

Who is the coward in The Walking Dead? ›

Gregory, as he appears in the comic book series (left) and as portrayed by Xander Berkeley in the television series (right). In both media, Gregory is introduced as the cowardly leader of The Hilltop who submits to Negan and the tyranny of the Saviors.

Who is the weakest from The Walking Dead? ›

Telltale's The Walking Dead: 5 Of The Strongest Characters (& 5 Weakest)
  • 9 WEAKEST: Ben. ...
  • 8 STRONGEST: Clementine. ...
  • 7 WEAKEST: Sarah. ...
  • 6 STRONGEST: Carley. ...
  • 5 WEAKEST: Kate. ...
  • 4 STRONGEST: Kenny. ...
  • 3 WEAKEST: Tennessee. ...
  • 2 STRONGEST: Christa.
Mar 29, 2020

Who did Negan beat to death with bat? ›

The reveal of just who died finally came 20 minutes in, and it was brutal. First Abraham fell victim to Negan's bat Lucille. Then it was Glenn who was killed as an example to the others after Daryl attempted to attack Negan for killing Abe.

Who attacked first Negan or Rick? ›

What? Far as I remember, Negan's group attacked first. There was an entire scene there. Remember, Abe, Sasha and Daryl driving in a truck, minding their own business, until they're forced to stop by Negan's group.

What does Negan say before he kills Glenn? ›

Negan chooses Glenn as a second victim because of Daryl's act. He reminded the group that there are always repercussions for resistance. He exclaims, “back to it,” and begins beating Glenn to a pulp. Throughout the remainder of the series, Maggie is hell-bent on exacting revenge on Negan for the death of her husband.

Does Maggie forgive Negan for killing Glenn? ›

Maggie accepting Negan doesn't receive the pomp and circumstance you'd necessarily expect, but understated as it might've been, that subtlety works in The Walking Dead's favor. It allows Maggie to forgive (or as close to forgive as is realistically possible) Negan on her terms.

Can Maggie forgive Negan? ›

However, Maggie has been unable to forgive Negan much less fully trust him, but when push comes to shove the two make a great team. It's only fit writers Eli Jorne, Breanna Kouf and Keith Staskiewicz continue to explore the two's relationship.

Who told Negan that Rick was up to no good? ›

"A little birdie told me that Rick and the rest of your people are up to no good," says Negan. "That needs to change and you're going to help me change it."

Did Negan really love Carl? ›

Negan deeply admired Carl, who served as the spark for the bat-wielding villain's entire redemption. Despite building Negan's redemption arc over several seasons, this single scene in The Walking Dead left a permanent tarnish on his character.

Did Negan turn into a good guy? ›

Does Negan turn good guy? No, Negan does not turn into a good guy. In the comics and TV series The Walking Dead, the character of Negan is the leader of the Saviors and one of the main antagonists. His only real goal is to take what he wants by any means necessary and to protect those in his own group.

Who was Negan cheating with? ›

However, she hits her breaking point when not only she finds out she has cancer, but also that Negan is cheating on her with her friend, Janine. When Negan arrives home, she contemplates killing him, but goes against it. Once Negan figures out she has cancer, he breaks up with Janine.

Why Negan is the best villain? ›

He Was A Masterful Leader

Even when Rick showed up, the people Negan protected and watched over stood by their leader. He was a killer and was brutal, but the Saviors and the people they protected knew that Negan would keep them alive and he was the best leader possible, honestly even better so than Rick.

Why Negan is better than the Governor? ›

Negan has numbers on his side and multiple bases and more resources at his disposal. He is probably smarter than the Governor and less insane. However his weakness is that he would probably try to extort from Woodbury and the Governor would probably fight till the last man before letting the Saviors extort from them.

Is Negan the most hated character? ›

So good in fact that he quickly became the all-time most hated character on the show, introducing himself in classic Neegan style by blasting the head off one of the fans' favorite characters.

Who is the most powerful villain in The Walking Dead? ›

From the first minute he appeared on screens in Season 7, audiences knew that Negan would be the cruelest villain on The Walking Dead. Wielding Lucille, his trademark bat swanned in barbed wire, Negan violently murdered two beloved characters, Glenn and Abraham, breaking the hearts of long-time fans.

Who did Negan choose to beat? ›

Negan chooses Glenn as a second victim because of Daryl's act. He reminded the group that there are always repercussions for resistance. He exclaims, “back to it,” and begins beating Glenn to a pulp.

Who was the best leader in TWD? ›

As fans look back on The Walking Dead in its entirety, there is no denying the effect that Rick Grimes had on the series. Andrew Lincoln's character was certainly the greatest leader ever depicted in the show and several of his most iconic quotes prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Is Negan a villain or a hero? ›

Negan Smith is one of the main antagonists of The Walking Dead franchise. Negan is the totalitarian and magisterial leader of The Saviors, a hostile group of outbreak survivors that are pitted against Rick Grimes' group.

What personality disorder does Negan have? ›

Negan, like all of the characters nominated for Best Villain, show some of the diagnostic criteria of an antisocial personality disorder.

Does Negan have depression? ›

Negan becomes heavily depressed after being exiled from the communities, to the point of begging Maggie to kill him. Carl Grimes becomes heavily depressed after the death of his father.

Is Negan Narcissistic in The Walking Dead? ›

He can't be diagnosed as antisocial or even a malignant narcissist. Antisocial people cannot empathize with others and engage in acts of cruelty for their own pleasure. Neegan, however, has a method to his madness and an overarching compassionate goal that he's seeking to attain.”

Videos

1. 5 Walking Dead Characters Who Are Better On TV And 5 Who Aren't
(predatoure)
2. How "Here's Negan" Changed The Audiences Perspective on Negan's Character
(The Thrifty Typewriter)
3. Negan Tells Hershel The Truth | TWD #Shorts
(Clashed PR)
4. Does Anyone Remember Me From Walking Dead? Dang Negan! 😂 #shorts #thewalkingdead
(Doctor Youn)
5. The Walking Dead Here's Negan Ending Explained
(Looper)
6. 5 Reasons Negan Lives On The Walking Dead - (Contains Spoilers)
(Michael Bungle)

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