I think everyone can agree - Negan is one of the most brutal villains in the history of television. During his first scene on The Walking Dead, the guy managed to break the hearts of millions by killing off two of the show's most beloved characters, and he did so with a smile on his face.
While Negan is notorious, and many fans claim to hate him, it's easy to see that audiences are still drawn to his antics. His dirty jokes and ruthless banter has become a staple of compelling television. How are audiences able to ignore the terrible things that Negan has done, and still cling to his every word?
Why can't anyone stop loving Negan?
For one, it's because the guy is just incredibly entertaining. In today's society, entertainment value trumps a moral compass nine times out of ten. Sausage Party was a movie that set out to offend basically every person on the planet, but the animated comedy dominated the box office for weeks on end.
Even if something hurtful, or even appalling, is totally within one's moral code, the emotions that it gives us act as a gravitational force. This is why you can't look away from tear-jerking videos on Facebook - it feels good to feel something.
Negan is a character that can make a viewer feel anger, joy, sadness, and laughter - all in just one scene. It's impossible to hate a character like that because he's one of the few that makes you feel truly alive.
On top of Negan being the Santa Claus of the feels, the character is a hit among fans because he's not a villain to a true hero.
Rick Grimes is the hero of The Walking Dead, but he has proven that anyone can do terrible things, given the right circumstances. Think about it, this is a man who has slaughtered people in their sleep, and fans still regard him as the knight in shining armor.
Not to say Rick was wrong in any of his actions - many would say he was just doing what was necessary to survive. If that's true, than Negan feels much less evil than he was initially made out to be.
See, what The Walking Dead has done with Rick Grimes is created a world where the boundaries that we enjoy have crumbled. The lines between right and wrong are so far beyond grey that viewers often struggle to determine how they feel about the hero's actions. This is precisely the reason why you may have found yourself cheering as Rick and the others swept through the satellite station. It doesn't make you a bad person, it is just a testament to the world that The Walking Dead has created.
The same goes for Negan.
You see, Negan is a product of the fall of humanity. Negan represents the transformation that most of us could undergo if the entire world has to crumble around us. In order to survive, the man has made many sacrifices - including his own morals.
In all likelihood, Negan will go down as one of the most well-crafted characters in television history. So, by all means, keep loving every minute he's on screen.
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The Walking Dead returns for the second half of Season 7 on February 12, 2016. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.
Why? Because you're supposed to.