Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) opened up about his past in The Walking Dead 1012, "Walk With Us," when he confided in Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) about late wife Lucille. Some eight years earlier, Negan confessed to sins committed "before all this," meaning the apocalypse, when he was trapped with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) at the Sanctuary when it was overrun by walkers. "I lied to her. I screwed around on her. She was sick and when she went, it was during this," Negan admitted, believing he and Gabriel were about to perish. "I couldn't put her down. That is how I was weak."
A then-jailed Negan made a similar confession in Season 9 episode 4, "The Obliged," when he told Michonne (Danai Gurira) he was "grateful" Lucille didn't have to see an unkempt and caged Negan. Calling her an "angel," Negan said his late wife "deserved better than she got."
When Michonne asked what happened to her, the namesake of his beloved barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Negan said, "What used to happen. Cancer." He added they "would have loved" to have a kid like Michonne's son, the late Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), before backing off when bringing up Michonne's first son, Andre, noting they're both "connected to the dead."
"My wife... she wasn't made for this," Negan admitted. "She was weak. When she died, there was a part of me that was relieved. I know she made me... not weak."
In "Walk With Us," when Alpha readied herself to kill daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Negan opened up about his life "a long time ago," a decade at this point, right before "meat lovers" first appeared.
"I lost somebody who was close to me. Pancreatic cancer," Negan said. "If the disease wasn't eating her up from the inside, then the chemo was kicking the ever-loving shit out of her. And yet, I don't know, maybe the cancer put things in perspective."
Looking at the bald Alpha, Negan added, "She was… she was never more beautiful. It didn't matter how frail she got, even when she lost her hair."
"Be grateful," Alpha said. "Death set her free."
"The thing is, when she was gone, I didn't feel much anything anymore. I didn't feel scared, I didn't feel happy, I didn't feel anything. I was just… here," Negan said, an exchange inspired by issue #156 of The Walking Dead comic book. "And that is my strength."
"Now me, I am dead to this world. But you? See you, you are pretending," he continued. "You think that it makes you strong to say that emotions aren't real, that we are animals. That is bullshit, and you know it. And now you claim you have to kill your own daughter, your own flesh and blood."
"It is her destiny. That disease took your wife because that was what nature intended. She could not take you with her," Alpha told him. "But you live every day wishing she could. Lydia was made for this. To be free. With me." Negan then murdered Alpha and presented her decapitated head to Carol (Melissa McBride) as part of a clandestine deal.
Morgan previously told ComicBook.com he hopes to explore Negan's full origin story in a spinoff movie inspired by Here's Negan.
"I certainly hope. I know that they've talked about doing all sorts of other things, movies and whatever else. I don't know too much about it," he said. "I know it could be an exciting opportunity to tell that story."