Negan's look for The Walking Dead Season 9 has been revealed in a new image of Jeffery Dean Morgan. Rick's bat-wielding arch nemesis spent season 7 terrorizing members of the Hilltop, Kingdom and Alexandria communities until eventually they banded together to take on the Saviors in season 8's All Out War storyline. The Savior leader barely escaped with his life on numerous occasions, but escape he did and we can expect more of the rakish villain when the show returns this year.
During the climax of last year's season finale, "Wrath," Rick and Negan wound up in their final one-on-one confrontation with both men and by greater extent their personal philosophies fought for dominance. As in the comics, Rick slit Negan's throat and then demanded Carl's friend Siddiq save Negan at the last second. The former Savior leader woke up in the Hilltop's infirmary and learned he'd be spending the rest of his life in captivity. Presumably that's where he'll be when season 9 picks up, but it's unclear for how long and under what conditions he'll be held captive.
With production on season 9 well underway, we've seen the first promotional images and teasers start to appear and inform what audiences can expect for their favorite characters. The Walking Dead appeared to hint that some kind of change in status was in store for one of their most divisive villains by tweeting an image of Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the beach sporting a new haircut and trimmed beard:
The cleaner look is actually closer to Negan's comic depiction than Morgan's previous styling - the comic villain sports the same shaved head and neater beard we see above. Other than that, his appearance (or, rather, TWD tweeting about his appearance) could imply a change of status for the character or Morgan himself. If the character doesn't survive the season, this could simply be a celebratory shave and a haircut now that Morgan isn't married to Negan's customary shaggier look. It could also mean he escapes captivity at some point and gets the opportunity to clean up - considering the low public opinion he's cultivated by killing "the rightest people in the wrongest way," it's doubtful anyone in the communities is looking after his haircare while he's their captive.
Or, and this is most likely, the promised time jump means everyone will look a little different. After the events of All Out War, The Walking Dead comics jump two years into the future before beginning their next chapter and introducing new villains The Whisperers. New showrunner Angela Kang promised the show would follow suit, and Andrew Lincoln's also sporting a neater appearance in the first season 9 promotional picture released last week. It certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility that The Walking Dead is teasing fans already salivating for any information about the new season and Negan's hairstyle won't be nearly as significant to the narrative as the tweet would have us believe. Then again, it could have far-reaching implications we aren't able to predict just yet - time will tell.
The Walking Dead season 9 is set to premiere later this year on AMC.
Source: The Walking Dead