— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) February 10, 2016
Who is Negan? That question has been on the minds of The Walking Dead fans ever since his name was dropped in an ominous teaser for the second half of season 6. Readers of the comic books already know him as a formidable adversary for Rick and his crew, and now viewers of the TV series will be acquainted with the man that Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman called "an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show."
Season 6 has been something of a mixed bag so far, filled with some controversial story choices, such as committing the cardinal sin of teasing a major character death only to reveal the opposite. Despite this, expectations are set high for the back half of the season, with actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) promising "a lot of turmoil" and Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) teasing that audiences can expect "a marked change" in his character and that the back eight episodes "turns very dark." Just how dark? The above clip offers viewers a hint.
The clip, posted by the official Walking Dead Twitter account, shows the first four minutes of the upcoming midseason premiere, 'No Way Out.' The first couple minutes of the clip will be familiar to fans who have seen previous trailers, with Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham headed back to Alexandria, following the events of the first half of the season, and running into a group of bikers who inform them their "property now belongs to Negan." Where those teaser left off, though, this new clip continues, offering some pointed back-and-forth between the two crews, and ending with Abraham daring to ask the question "Who is Negan?" Given that Negan's men are the aggressive type, willing to stop a truck full of strangers and demand they hand over their wares, it should come as no surprise that Abe winds up on the receiving end of a less-than-polite response.
The bikers in the video are, of course, the Saviors, a crew loyal to the villain who is expected to dominate much of the next eight episodes -- either in terms of creating an ominous atmosphere or simply being an indomitable presence the core group of survivors has to deal with. The Negan of the TV show will be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, better known to comic book fans as The Comedian in Zack Snyder's movie adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen. In the comics, Rick's crew encountered Negan and the Saviors in the Washington D.C. area, an encounter that ended in a rather memorable scene involving the death of a major character.
Will Negan bring as much heartache to Rick and company in the TV series as he did in the comic books? The two stories have diverged quite a bit at this point, so there is no guarantee events will unfold the same way. Still, things never really get better on The Walking Dead, so it is a safe bet there will be plenty of violence, death, and misery by the time season 6 has reached its conclusion.
The Walking Dead returns on February 14th on AMC.
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