AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped up the first half of its sixth season last night in characteristically bloody fashion, but the network isn’t making fans wait to see what’s in store when the series returns in February. The network has unveiled a prologue to “the next chapter” in The Walking Dead’s story, which I guess is how we’re addressing halves of seasons now. This clip is incredibly noteworthy to fans of the series, however, as it tees up the arrival of the villainous Negan, a character from the graphic novels who is finally set to debut on the show in the back half of Season 6.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the lucky actor who will bring Negan to life on the series, and it’s a meaty role to be sure. In Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels, Negan is a foul-mouthed leader of a group of survivors called the Saviors who wield their influence by acting as “protection” for weaker communities in exchange for food supplies. Negan is your typical “drunk on power” leader, keeping a harem of women that used to belong to his followers and carrying around a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire that he refers to as “Lucille”. He is also responsible for at least one major death in the comics, so The Walking Dead crew best watch their backs.
It’ll be interesting to see if this heavy will mark a significant shift in the series, or if the show will continue with its current structure of killing off ancillary characters while keeping its central crew intact. Fans grew frustrated with the wholly obvious fake-out death of Glenn a few weeks ago, so maybe showrunner Scott Gimple and his team will change course and revert back to how previous showrunners Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara ran the series re: keeping the character deaths unpredictable.
Regardless, The Walking Dead returns to finish out its sixth season in February, with the Negan storyline likely forming the spine of the second half. Watch the prologue below and speculate on how Negan will fit into the series as it stands now in the comments section.