A new promo for The Walking Dead teases what season 9 has in store for Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). After serving as the main villain of the show for two seasons, Negan was finally defeated and incarcerated in the season 8 finale, leaving the character's role in future seasons in question.
Rick's primary goal in season 8 was to win the war against the Saviors and kill Negan, the man who murdered both Glenn and Abraham, along with countless others. After a climactic battle with Negan, Rick chose to honor his son's memory and spare Negan's life, much to Maggie's dismay. Some characters were understandably divided over Rick's choice. Rick's hope was to show people a better way to go forward, but only time will tell if Rick's decision was a good one.
AMC has released a promo for season 9 of The Walking Dead which shows Negan expressing doubt about the new world Rick is attempting to build. The promo ends with an ominous tease from Negan: "You're not saving the world, you're just getting it ready for me." This indicates that Negan will continue to pose as one of Alexandria's most significant threats, though it should come as no surprise that Negan plans on escaping from his prison and taking over. However, some may believe that Negan can change and become a hero. While there is some basis for this in the source material, the TV series could go in a different direction.
So far, other potential problems for season 9 have overshadowed Negan. Most trailers for the upcoming season are focused on the conflict brewing between Rick and Maggie. This could erupt into a civil war, depending on what course of action Maggie decides to take against Rick. There's also the Whisperers, who may end up becoming the main antagonists for the foreseeable future. That being said, it shouldn't be overlooked that perhaps the most obvious threat to Alexandria is still Negan.
Negan's escape could bring an end to everything that Rick has worked so hard to build, considering that Rick used his incarceration as the foundation for rebuilding. Another possibility is that Andrew Lincoln's departure from the series will give Negan a chance to fulfill his season 8 goal and kill Rick, which would surely be a sad end for the character. Alternatively, Negan could reemerge as a villain after Rick's death.
Season 9 of The Walking Dead premieres October 7th on AMC.