The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan wanted to give (some) fans the epic catharsis they've been waiting for, by having Maggie finally kill Negan. The beef between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Moran) and Maggie (Cohan) goes all the way back to The Walking Dead season 7's now-iconic premiere, in which Negan brutally bashed in the head of Maggie's husband Glenn. With The Walking Dead season 11 being the final season of the series, it seems like all old scores need to be settled sooner before later - if they are to be settled at all. However, Negan has still managed to survive - despite Maggie repeatedly having the chance to execute him.
In "Acheron Part II" Maggie, Negan, and the group from Alexandria and Maggie's camp are trying to move through some underground tunnels that are swarmed with zombies. When Maggie was hanging over a drop with walkers waiting below, Negan left her to fall. Maggie escaped and made it back to the group - and for a tense moment, it seemed as though Negan's latest double-cross would be his last. But ultimately it's not Maggie who shows restraint - it's Negan who reminds us what that wily logic and silver tongue once made him the ruler of the Saviors.
"You should just hate him for this moment when he leaves Maggie to die." Cohan explains to EW. "And then when he says, 'She just said she was going to kill me. What would you do?' And it's like, everybody in this world who is still alive is pretty wily. You know what I mean? You have to just sort of tiptoe through just getting yourself alive for a little bit longer. You have to just keep yourself alive. You have to adjust. You have to just keep adjusting. And at every juncture, Negan has just done what he thinks is going to work for that much longer.
For Cohan, Maggie not killing Negan is a matter of personal honor, more so than the immediate practical purpose Negan is serving as the group's guide: "...She says that he knows the city, blah, blah, blah. But it's not just that he knows the city. It's like, if I kill him, once you cross that line, you can't go back."
Still, Lauren Cohan is still apparently carrying some heated feelings toward Negan - even if "Maggie" has reached a more righteous place:
"I just wanted to kill him. I wanted to kill him. I wanted Maggie to just shoot him," Cohan says in no uncertain terms. "The fact that I want that and she wants that, then she doesn't do it — that's why I'm like, okay, she's keeping this this hope of overcoming this animal anger. There's a tiny little thread of like, "I got to keep that alive. I got to keep this respect for life alive." Jeff is so good too, because, when I watch the episode and I'm like, "S---, I could see why Negan's so scared of her, that this can happen."
But will it happen? Will Maggie finally kill Negan, or will Negan's arc be one of some kind of redemption for killing Glenn (if that's possible)?
The Walking Dead final season is now airing on AMC.