Why Maggie and Negan Go to New York in TWD: Dead City

It's the question Walking Dead fans have been asking since the reveal of a Maggie and Negan spinoff: why are Maggie and Negan together in New York City, of all places? In March, AMC announced Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) would put their differences aside and travel together "into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland." More than 12 years post-zombie virus outbreak, this Dead City of the walker apocalypse is a crumbling metropolis "filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror."

In Season 11 of The Walking Dead, Maggie and Negan were forced to work together — and trust each other — when a mission to save a starving Alexandria put them on the road to Meridian. This was despite Negan fearing a vengeful Maggie would kill him and avenge her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun), who Negan brutally murdered with a barbwire-wrapped baseball bat in Season 7.

But after he helped Maggie take back Meridian and avenge her people slain by the Reapers, Negan walked off alone, parting ways with the group before Maggie could do to him what she did to the Reapers. Some six months later, fate reunited the enemies-turned-allies at Riverbend, where Maggie learned Negan is married and expecting a child with his new wife, Annie (Medina Senghore).

Then something even more shocking happened: Maggie told Negan she was beginning to trust him. "You saved him at Riverbend. Whatever else happens, and whatever else has happened, I will never forget that," Maggie told Negan after he risked his life to protect her and Glenn's son, Hershel Rhee (Kien Michael Spiller). Twice.

But in the first look at The Walking Dead: Dead City, Maggie and Negan are literally back at each other's throats. So what could possibly bring Maggie and Negan together? The answer might be a danger to their children, as Cohan hinted during The Walking Dead panel at New York Comic Con:

Dead City is about "the most unlikely two people that you would want to see together," Cohan teased. "And it makes it very good to see us together, because it is the hardest situation that [Maggie and Negan] both have to be in. The need is bigger than the fear."

In an exclusive interview with ComicBook, Cohan revealed multiple ideas existed for separate Maggie and Negan spinoffs before series creator and showrunner Eli Jorné pitched Isle of the Dead (since retitled Dead City).

"I think this story that Eli Jorné came up with, which is what we'll be shooting for season one of [Dead City], was just really powerful and such an interesting way for fans to get to see these characters continue," Cohan told ComicBook. "I mean, Jeff and I are just over the moon because it completely serves who they are and where they will end up at the end of Season 11. It's somehow even more fraught than we've been in this season."

She added: "So it's good for us because I feel like I got to find things of Maggie that I wanted to explore more, and this backdrop for [Dead City] and in conflict with Negan is such a great opportunity to do it."

TWD: Dead City premieres in 2023. The Maggie and Negan spinoff is one of three new Walking Dead shows slated to air in 2023 on AMC and AMC+, joining the Daryl Dixon spinoff starring Norman Reedus and the Rick & Michonne series reuniting Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira.

Follow @CameronBonomolo and @NewsOfTheDead on Twitter for TWD Universe coverage all season long. New episodes of The Walking Dead's final season premiere Sundays on AMC and AMC+.