'The Walking Dead': Norman Reedus Disputes That Rick Is As Bad As Negan

With the war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) underway in season 8 of The Walking Dead, some fans are picking sides — and not everyone is in Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) camp. But Norman Reedus, who plays Alexandria resident and Rick’s right hand man, Daryl Dixon, is calling BS on the idea that Rick and Negan aren’t all that different.

“You know that whole thing about Negan crying, ‘Rick’s just as bad as me,’ I don’t think that’s true,” Reedus said in a video extra published by AMC. “We didn’t introduce ourselves the same way he introduced himself, so I still think we’re the good guys and he’s the bad guy.”

Rick and co. first learned about Negan and his protection racket after Daryl, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) first encountered a band of Saviors — “the dick brigade,” as Negan put it — in episode 6x08. In 6x11, with Rick and the Alexandrians learning their world was bigger than previously thought, a new ally, Jesus (Tom Payne), brought them to the Hilltop colony, with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) striking a deal with the Hilltop’s then-leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley): Rick and the other capable fighters of the group would take out the oppressive Saviors in exchange for half of Hilltop’s supplies.

In 6x12, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Glenn, Abraham, Sasha, Jesus and others infiltrated a Savior outpost, launching a surprise attack as the Saviors slept. After wiping out every threat in the building, it seemed their mission was successful — until it was learned that was only one faction of Saviors, and that their leader, Negan, was still out there.

Later, the group embarked to the Hilltop to get aid for a pregnant and sick Maggie, only to be cut off by Saviors at every turn. Rick and the group were cornered in a clearing where they were finally introduced to the enigmatic Negan, who made his entrance by mercilessly beating Abraham and Glenn to death with his barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille.

In 8x01, proving that he’s nothing like Negan, Rick — leading a charge against Negan’s home base, the Sanctuary — offered Negan’s lieutenants the chance to stand down and surrender, believing that only one person has to die: Negan. Simon (Steven Ogg), Regina (Traci Dinwiddie), turncoat Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and secret agent Dwight (Austin Amelio) refuse the offer, leading to Rick and several members of the united Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom communities to open fire on the Sanctuary’s windows as part of a plan that included unleashing a horde of Walkers on the Savior compound.

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Long story short? Rick never forced anyone into slave labor, and the war he's currently waging against Negan and the Saviors is a righteous one. Episode 8x02, "The Damned," will continue to muddy the waters between both sides as All Out War continues.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

The Walking DeadSunday at 9PM EST on AMC

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