The latest of several menacing images has been released of The Walking Dead’s Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the coming season. One of the reasons there’s been such a focus on his character in the off season is that AMC basically painted itself into a corner by leaving almost every significant character on the chopping block as a cliffhanger. So, just about any pre-season image of the survivors outside of that scene would be a spoiler — except for Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James), of course, who’ve been off making friends with Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his Kingdom.
Negan might be best known for his bat behavior and sick preference for swinging around his trusty barb-wired slugger, but it looks like he’s happy to handle other forms of weaponry as well.
Released by ComingSoon, the latest image of TWD season 7’s big bad shows him donning that signature grin while he points an enormous machine gun at something or someone, with a cloud of smoke billowing nearby to suggest he’s just littered the place with bullets. As this picture confirms, Negan’s jovial personality runs completely counter to his capacity for creating pain, and it’s that very sense of eerie charisma that made him such an iconic character in the comics. Take a look at the new photo of Negan:
At this point, theorizing over who’ll be at the receiving end of lethal Lucille has been done ad nauseum — it’s Glenn in the comics, so even after all of the postulating, he still seems like a fine guess. But another interesting factor in what’s happening with the introduction of Negan is the psychological and sociological toll his presence will take upon everyone, both on- and off-screen.
As revealed by Norman Reedus (who’s still hanging in strong as Daryl Dixon, for now at least), this was the first time in the show’s history where the cast’s return to set was not marked so much by joy as it was dread. The weight of what happens to the character on the receiving end of Lucille is such that it’s damaging the group’s long-lived dynamic in ways we’ve never seen before.
As Reedus framed the forced fragmentation to EW, “Negan has come in and completely shaken up everything. Loyalties are broken, belief in one another, belief in ourselves. Each individual is completely broken.” And fans may have thought the Governor was bad.
The Walking Dead season 7 returns to AMC on Sunday, Oct. 23rd.