The Walking Dead's Negan is "definitely" a first name, creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman said during a Walker Stalker Cruise panel alongside series stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus.
A sea of fans assembled at the Q&A session wanted to know: what's Negan's full name? The crowd hurled cries of various crude epithets.
"Negan A—hole?" said Morgan, who plays the bat-wielding villain. "Why yes, you nailed it."
"That works," said Kirkman. "I haven't given Negan a last name."
"No, he doesn't have a last name," Morgan added. "It's like Madonna, Cher, and Negan."
A minute later, a persistent fan asked again: what's Negan's full name?
Kirkman: It's actually Negan A—hole. Yeah, I don't know, I do things to entertain myself that — then when the comic gets turned into a TV show, its super weird. But I just think it's funny to not give characters last names because I don't know, it's interesting to me. It really doesn't play well on panels though, I'll tell you that much. But when I'm at home and I'm writing, I'm like, I'm not doing this, because you gotta come up with a list of names and then pick one and its never interesting.
Morgan: Do we think Negan is a first name or a last name?
Kirkman: Negan is definitely a first name.
"His last name is Smith, there we go," joked an almost-always sarcastic Kirkman, attempting to placate the crowd.
Kirkman revealed Negan's backstory in the pages of the Here's Negan limited series, explaining the origins of the Saviors and Negan's beloved barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille.
Here's Negan reveals Negan to be — spoilers — a former used car salesman and a high school gym coach. Negan is referred to by name by both his wife, who is dying from cancer, and his mistress.
Season 8, resuming Sunday, won't show Negan's backstory, but Morgan said the show will reveal more about Negan.
"There is a lot of Negan's backstory out there. We haven't filmed any of that, but there are conversations with a few characters where we'll find out a little more about him," he said.
"We'll have some quieter moments this year, some one-on-one interactions where you'll learn more about where he's from. Even if you hate Negan, you're gonna start to understand how he became the man that he is and why he does the things that he does."
Former showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who has since been promoted to overseer of The Walking Dead brand for AMC, said he had a "loose plan in place" to dole out Negan's history.
"There’s some aspects of [Here's Negan] that will probably be cool [on the show]," Gimple last year. "It’s some fairly far-flung stuff… in the future, you will see some stuff from that."
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 25 on AMC.