The Walking Dead: Jeffrey Dean Morgan Explains Negan's Major Maggie Decision

By Cameron Bonomolo
Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday’s “No Other Way” episode of The Walking Dead. Negan’s not here. After turning away and leaving Maggie behind to die to start Season 11, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) again turns his back on Maggie to start Season 11 Part 2. Believing Maggie (Lauren Cohan) lured him into the tunnels of the D.C. subway to kill him and avenge husband Glenn (Steven Yeun), Negan refused to help the widow’s walker escape to end “Acheron: Part 1.” But Maggie survived, and the two enemies shook on a tense truce when waging war on the Reapers to take back Meridian and save their shared home: a starving Alexandria. Despite the vendetta, Maggie and Negan would co-exist.
In “Promises Broken,” Negan says he’ll fight Maggie’s war under one condition: he makes Maggie promise they’re square if he continues on with her suicide mission to Meridian. “I do this for you, and we’re even. We are good,” he says, taking Maggie at her word. “I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.” 
But when Maggie chooses to keep her promise to Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) and avenge the Wardens — their people hunted down and killed by the Reapers — Negan watches as Maggie mercilessly executed Leah’s (Lynn Collins) squad of villains in “No Other Way.”
“You were always gonna do what you did, Maggie,” Negan tells her. “When it comes to me, promise or not, it’s just a matter of time before you make the same call. I ain’t gonna give you the chance to do it.” 
He makes his move: by making no move at all. “I’m gonna be on my own way,” Negan says, turning his back on Maggie as he walks away alone.
Explaining Negan’s self-exile, Morgan told ComicBook‘s Brandon Davis about Negan’s major Maggie decision to start the second part of the Final Season: 
“I think that he realizes he’s not going to change her mind on how she feels about him and that she’s sort of lost it a little bit,” Morgan exclusively told ComicBook. “I think Negan’s always kind of prided himself of being in control of his emotions. Regardless of the horrible thing that he’s done, he’s always had some sort of control, and he doesn’t feel like Maggie’s got a whole lot of control. She’s very unpredictable.”
Though Negan is all about self-preservation, he did risk his life saving Maggie’s earlier this season. According to Morgan, leaving Maggie behind is for her as much as it is for himself. 
“I think for him, he also has kind of had this odd relationship with her that has built up to the season. And so I think when he leaves, it’s for both of them,” Morgan said. “I think he’s actually trying to help her a little bit. He’s had these kind of moments where he’s tried to connect with her, and it hasn’t really worked. And I think he’s just kind of like, ‘It’s just better for me to f—ing walk away at this point.'” 
After going undercover with the Whisperers, beheading Alpha (Samantha Morton), and joining forces with Daryl (Norman Reedus) to kill Beta (Ryan Hurst) and end the Whisperer War in Season 10, Negan is walking down a different path in The Walking Dead‘s final season. 
“I think that kind of the path he’s been on has been a long one of this sort of — I mean, people like to say redemption, I don’t know if it’s redemption,” Morgan said. “But seeing kind of another side to Negan has been interesting to play. And I think this year we’re going to do a couple different ways, but it’s not done yet. I mean, ultimately, I still don’t know how this show ends.”
He continued, “It’s been good because there’s been some shifts. I think Negan had some major shifts in the last however many seasons that I’ve been on and that’s been really fun to play. And I credit the writers a lot with that because it would’ve been really easy for just Season 7 Negan to remain that way. I think it would’ve been a horrible thing for the viewers, but they knew that he needed to grow and they have allowed that to happen a little bit, which is all you want is an actor.” 
New episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season air Sundays on AMC and AMC+. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter and @NewsOfTheDead for TWD Universe coverage all season long.
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