The Walking Dead Actor Tried to Have Villain Character Redeemed

Joshua Mikel, who played sociopathic Savior Jared in the seventh and eighth seasons of The Walking Dead, was told his character was rotten "through and through" when he asked then-showrunner Scott Gimple if Jared had any redeeming qualities. The ratty Savior showed no remorse when shooting Benjamin (Logan Miller) — the older brother of Henry (Macsen Lintz), and one of the Knights charged with protecting King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) — and antagonized Morgan (Lennie James) over his protégé's death. A bloodthirsty Morgan got his revenge when he exterminated a pack of Saviors with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), trapping Jared behind a gate and leaving him to be devoured by walkers.

While participating in the Scares That Care 2020 Virtual Convention with former co-stars Cooper Andrews and Jayson Warner Smith, Mikel recounted asking Gimple if Jared might defect from the Saviors and fall in with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) at the Hilltop colony.

"I wrote him an email at one point being like, 'Hey man, are there any redeeming qualities about Jared? Is there anything that I should know? Maybe at some point he'll join Hilltop and make his way in, should I leave any kind of question of that?'" Mikel said. "And he was like, 'No, man, he's an a—hole through and through.'"

The zombie apocalypse brought out "sociopathic tendencies" in Jared, who was "probably already a self-concerned person" before joining up with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors.

The Walking Dead Jared Saviors Joshua Mikel
(Morgan kills Jared in Season 8 Episode 14, "Still Gotta Mean Something." Photo: AMC)

"I think he just kind of landed on the door closest to him, being the Saviors," Mikel said, adding Jared's motivation was to "survive at all costs, at the expense of everyone else."

Multiple former Saviors, including Alden (Callan McAuliffe) and Laura (Lindsley Register), integrated into the various allied communities following the end of the war against Negan's army. In the coming Season 10 finale, "A Certain Doom," heroes Alden and Aaron (Ross Marquand) encounter a mysterious masked person during the final battle of the Whisperer War.

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Mikel and Warner Smith appear in sci-fi romantic drama Only, also featuring former Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs, newly streaming on Netflix. According to its official synopsis, "A couple must endure a self-imposed quarantine and elude authorities after a mysterious virus proves lethal to the world’s female population."

The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, previously delayed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, premieres Sunday, October 4 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.