Late in The Walking Dead's sixth season, Rick's group was lead to the Hilltop where they met Gregory and several other members of the community. For the first time, we heard the name Negan as their group's leader described his tough times dealing with the villain.
Soon after his first mention, Negan would strike the Hilltop without even showing up. Instead, he sent Ethan back with a message for Gregory: Craig is a hostage until Gregory is dead because Gregory shorted Negan's supply drop.
At first glance, the scene appears to be done with... Rick killed Ethan (played by Justin Kucsulain), Gregory healed, and the assault on the Saviors began. However, a piece of that scene may actually be teasing a few things coming up when The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season.
Be warned spoilers based on set photos and rumors follow.
Set photos from groups like The Spoiling Dead Fans and rumors all around the Internet have Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) spending a lot of time together. Many are starting to suspect that Daryl will end up a hostage of Negan's, much like Craig from the Hilltop. This weakened Daryl would not be able to put up much of a fight but is still a key member of Rick's group who would serve as a huge motivation to protect.
In the comics, Negan had several interesting encounters with Carl Grimes. It's an odd form of respect Negan shows to the scarred teenager but also comes with manipulation and bullying. It's an interesting dynamic we hope to see brought to television - but could Carl's role be swapped for Daryl's?0comments
"Whether it's with Carl or not, I cannot say," showrunner Scott Gimple tells ComicBook.com. "I absolutely want to explore Negan having that strange respect for someone which I think was the hallmark of that relationship and we'll tell versions of that story."
The Walking Dead will return for its seventh season in October. A new trailer will arrive at San Diego Comic Con later this month.