The season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead aired last night, and it opened up fans to a whole new world on the series. The premiere opened with a newfound sense of hope and purpose by all characters involved, (whether or not that lasts, remains to be seen) except one.
Negan’s was a very noticeable absence during the premiere. The war has been over for a 18 months, and during that time, Negan has been recovering from a partially slit throat, and wasting away in a jail cell.
We got a chance to speak with Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the red carpet at Paleyfest this weekend, and we asked what we should expect to see from the former leader of the Saviors once he does show up this season.
“We’re gonna see Negan locked up.” Says Morgan.
He goes on to explain what Negan’s been up to for the past 18 months.
“Negan has sent a lot of quality time with himself and he’s not doing well. You’re seeing a guy that’s broken, which has been fun as an actor, because it’s going to be something drastically different than what we’ve ever seen with Negan. but it’s been a challenge.”
He did say that we can expect to see Negan getting to interact with some different people for a change.
That said, though, I’m getting to work with some actors I’ve never gotten to work with on the show, which is a joy. I usually work with Andy, or people who are on for an episode and then we kill em. Negan didn’t really have any buddies on the show. So now, getting the chance to have back-to-back scenes with some characters that the audience loves has been kind of special.
Although Negan didn’t appear in the premiere, there were silent but automatic references to him throughout the episode. Michonne sees some rogue graffiti supporting Negan over at the Sanctuary (now run by Daryl). She later asks Rick if they “did the right thing.” His name didn’t even need to be mentioned for the audience to know what she meant. Rick made the decision to keep Negan alive when not everybody agreed. Maggie perhaps was the most vocal about her disagreement, because she still wanted justice for Glenn.
In the finale of season 8, she famously connived with Jesus and Daryl about getting revenge on Rick for not killing him. That seems to have calmed, and she now has settled on simply boycotting visits to Alexandria to avoid being around him-most likely because she’d probably kill him. It would seem that since the finale, her an Rick had a discussion about it, and she’s a little less upset. She also has a new son, Hershel, who she is concerned more with.
You can check out our full interview with Jeffrey Dean Morgan below!
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo