The Walking Dead episode 815 - Negan

Walking Dead producers are open to exploring Negan's backstory and 'dig deeper into his past'

Contributed by
May 29, 2018

Negan might just be the most-hated character on The Walking Dead. After all, he did murder Glenn. But did he start off as a murderous, power-hungry lunatic or did something about the zombie apocalypse push him off the edge? Fans of the show, particularly those who don't read creator Robert Kirkman's comics, would probably like to learn more about the origins of the baseball bat-toting antagonist/leader of the Saviors, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Perhaps we will get some sort of Negan exploration, thanks to a weekly "Mailbag" done by Robert Kirkman's multimedia company that makes The Walking Dead possible, Skybound Entertainment. Fans can ask questions on Twitter about this show or Fear the Walking Dead, and if they're lucky, their burning queries are featured and answered in a special roundup on Skybound's website. 

This question was posed by Twitter user @yararostamii:

The answer:

"Although Negan dropped hints about his past to Father Gabriel and Jadis/Anne, we still haven’t seen any actual scenes from his life prior to the apocalypse. So far, his backstory in the show seems to parallel the one from the comics" — which has its own standalone book by Robert Kirkman that you can get here.

The response added: "Although we don’t know of any plans to make an episode out of it, the producers have expressed a willingness to dig deeper into his past."

In the time prior to zombies roaming the planet, Negan was apparently a Virginia gym teacher, who was already exhibiting signs of intense narcissism and cruelty. He often challenged his own students to games of ping-pong, but would end up belittling and berating them for their shortcomings, which caused the students' parents to lodge complaints. His wife's name is Lucille, and she suffered from terminal cancer right before society collapsed, leading Negan to christen his eventual weapon of choice "Lucille." Shortly thereafter, he established the Saviors.

While Skybound's answer far from confirms anything definite, it's nice to know that the creative team is just as fascinated with this character as fans are, no more so than Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Last October, he went on record, voicing his support for a Negan-centric episode. 

“I always am hoping that, at some point, we do a backstory episode for Negan, because it’s an amazing story," he said. 

At the end of Season 8, Rick and the rest of the human survivors who opposed Negan and his people fulfilled the "All Out War" storyline, but they did not kill the villain, whom they left alive as an example of what kind of person not to be in the society that Rick, Michonne, and Maggie will help rebuild.

If all goes according to plan, Negan will spend the rest of his miserable life in jail... unless the Whisperers show up to ruin everything.