Jeffrey Dean Morgan is interested to learn which of Negan's new allies go to bat for the villain turned anti-hero now that Lauren Cohan's Maggie Rhee is back on The Walking Dead. It was Maggie's intense confrontation with Negan years earlier that spurred her to leave Hilltop with son Hershel in tow, journeying someplace far with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) and a new group of survivors. Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the widowed Maggie conspired to avenge Glenn (Steven Yeun) and execute Negan 18 months after he was taken prisoner by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), but she left him to rot instead: "I came to kill Negan. And you're already worse than dead."
"It'll be interesting to see if anybody kind of tells Maggie what Negan's been up to, or if they just put it on Negan to kind of start from scratch with this," Morgan said during virtual New York Comic Con. "I think that's an Angela [Kang, showrunner] and Scott [Gimple, executive producer] thing."
In the more than seven years that have passed since Maggie and Negan's last meeting, he risked his life rescuing Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) during a blizzard and saved Aaron (Ross Marquand) amid a war with the Whisperers. Negan would avenge Jesus (Tom Payne) and Enid (Katelyn Nacon), two of Maggie's closest friends, when he infiltrated the Whisperers to assassinate Alpha (Samantha Morton).
Negan carried out that mission under orders from Carol (Melissa McBride), who set him loose to bring her Alpha's head. Since being freed by Carol, Negan rescued Daryl and sided with the heroes in the final battle of the Whisperer War.
Asked how Maggie might react to Negan's good deeds, Kang answered, "You'll see in the episodes to come."
"I'm very excited," added Morgan. "Lauren and I have talked about it a little bit, so we're both very excited to see how that plays out."
"There was the difficulty of trying to remain there and carry on with your life with Negan being, even if he was in prison, he was there and alive. And it was so much to contend with," Cohan said of Maggie's decision to leave. "But these letters from Carol ultimately have to override any reasons that she may have had for leaving. And there were positive reasons too; it wasn't just about removing herself from the place where Negan was."
She added, "It was also going to explore, and going to keep the fire and hope alive for herself. Going to witness the ingenuity of things that people like Georgie did and could teach her, and that she could bring back to the group. And then just an exploration for herself."