Negan may be a changed man in The Walking Dead, but Fear The Walking Dead exposes one villainous aspect the main series unjustly ignores. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan swaggered into The Walking Dead as quite literally the worst. Apparently, bludgeoning two beloved protagonists (Glenn & Abraham) to death while laughing gleefully is no way to endear yourself with new friends. Between The Walking Dead seasons 7 and 8, Negan behaved as badly as AMC’s content guidelines would allow, before finally losing to the noble Rick Grimes and spending a little over 7 years behind bars.
Post-timeskip, Negan’s The Walking Dead journey has been a slow crawl toward redemption. Saving Judith and Dog from a blizzard, killing Alpha, and choosing more appropriate moments to unleash cocky sarcasm have all strengthened Negan’s in-universe reputation. After much chipping away, even Maggie found a modicum of forgiveness for her husband’s killer in The Walking Dead season 11. Audiences are left in little doubt of Negan’s reformation.