The Walking Dead gives Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) his last name in "Here's Negan" — and it's a surname that creator Robert Kirkman jokingly revealed years earlier. Spoilers for Here's Negan follow. When Negan is exiled to an outpost away from Alexandria, where Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) now lives with her son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), Negan remembers his late wife Lucille (Hilarie Burton Morgan) as he reflects on the events that led him to this point. When he flashes back to 12 years earlier, he recalls his pre-apocalypse life as a foul-mouthed school gym teacher: coach Negan Smith.
In "Here's Negan," the Smith surname appears on the mailbox outside Negan and Lucille's home. A closer look at Negan's basement collection of sports trophies shows a prize awarded to Negan Smith. (Displayed behind the trophy is a pennant for Saviors Athletics, an Easter egg giving Negan's Saviors their name.)
When Morgan and Kirkman were asked to reveal Negan's full name during a joint convention appearance in 2018, Kirkman said he had not given the character a last name. "He doesn't have a last name. It's like Madonna, Cher, and Negan," added Morgan, who joked the character's full name is "Negan A**hole."
"I do things to entertain myself that, then when the comic gets turned into a TV show, it's super weird. But I just think it's funny to not give characters last names because, I don't know, it's interesting to me," Kirkman said at the time. "But when I'm at home and I'm writing, I'm like, 'I'm not doing this,' because you gotta come up with a list of names and then pick one and it's never interesting."
Kirkman confirmed Negan is "definitely a first name" before casually suggesting a surname offhand: "His last name is Smith, there we go. Is that a good one?"
The Walking Dead creator previously revealed the origin of Negan's name on a 2016 episode of Talking Dead, explaining he wanted the villain's name to "sound negative."0comments
"I like to make up names that aren't really names, and then I Google then and I’m like, 'Oh yeah, someone does have that name,' which happens from time to time," Kirkman said. "I just wanted the name to sound negative in some way so I was calling him 'Nagus' for a long time, which I thought was just a word I pulled from thin air, but apparently that's like the Ferengi leader ... in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. So I was like, 'Well, I can't call him Nagus.' So then I was just like 'Negan, that sounds fine.'"
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD Universe. The Walking Dead's Final Season premieres this summer on AMC.