The Walking Dead has certainly had its ups and downs in the Negan era of the AMC series. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character was one of the most anticipated characters on television at one point but the series seemed to have botched the All Out War story by sprawling it out across to many episodes and frustrating the audience early on in Season 7. By the end of Negan's first full season, he was ready to kill Carl Grimes to punish Carl's father Rick but ultimately didn't swing his bat when a tiger crashed the party. Now, in Season 10, a new version of Negan has emerged and stated that he would "never" hurt a kid. After some fans caught this contrast, the AMC show's official Twitter account acknowledged the major change.
"We call that growth," The Walking Dead on AMC's Twitter account said, quoting a tweet showcasing photos of the very different moments for Negan.
This new Negan has emerged as a centerpiece for the series and is arguably the best part of The Walking Dead right now. When Angela Kang took over the show in its ninth season, Negan was locked in jail following the All Out War story's conclusion and stayed there for more than 6 years. In Season 10, Negan has emerged on a path towards redemption both for himself and in the eyes of the audience, going as far as killing Brandon for killing a kid and his mom outside of Alexandria.
As far as the show is concerned, this new version of Negan being dubbed as one who underwent massive "growth" is turning out to be a good thing for the show. However, one has to wonder, what might the show have been like if he had been handled differently early on? Morgan certainly has the acting abilities to play many versions of this character and always made the most of what he was given with scripts, often delivering entertaining scenes regardless of the larger story falling flat for many fans.
Of course, the argument can be made the Negan may have been bluffing back in the Season 7 finale and had no actual plans of killing Carl. In Season 8, he didn't show much remorse over the character's death while talking to Rick Grimes, although he faulted Rick with the death and thought he would have done a better job keeping Carl alive himself.
What do you think of the changes made to Negan following his time locked away in jail? Has the character grown enough for you to like him? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram and Twitter.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC.