Uncle Negan? Jeffrey Dean Morgan predicts The Walking Dead Season 11 will develop a relationship between former bad guy Negan and Hershel, the now eight-year-old son of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and the widowed Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Hershel was born during the skipped over 18 months separating The Walking Dead Season 8 and Season 9 — Negan spent all that time, and then another six-plus years, jailed for heinous crimes that include beating Glenn to death in front of his pregnant wife — and the boy left the Hilltop colony with his mother when Maggie agreed to assist Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with a new community somewhere far away.
"Negan definitely has a soft spot for the younger generation, and we've seen that numerous times," Morgan said during The Walking Dead's virtual Comic-Con panel. "I think he has a relationship with young kids that is very honest, and I don't think that he would shy away from letting this kid know who he is, and try to work through it."
Negan swayed Michonne (Danai Gurira) when he risked life and limb heading into a blizzard to rescue her daughter, Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming), and the kid-friendly Negan is growing into a sort of father figure for the recently orphaned Lydia (Cassady McClincy).
Hershel could be Negan's next pint-sized pal — if he's not killed by the boy's mother.
"I think that may be a way — we'll see, I'm not a writer on this show — but that may be a way that Maggie sees a different side of Negan, as well," Morgan said. "I think initially she'll just want to kill him, but we’ll see what happens."
The former Savior leader has "gone through such a journey in the last couple of years," Morgan added. "It's been such a joy to play. This redemption arc has been amazing, and yet we still know that in there is Negan, and I don't know that that will ever go away. So he's gonna be walking a fine line, especially with Maggie."
After spending almost all of Season 10 away, Cohan returns in the delayed Season 10 finale now scheduled to air in October. Cohan will then fully rejoin as a series regular in Season 11, where she'll reunite with Morgan's since-redeemed Negan.
"Negan killed Maggie's husband, and burnt down her house, so it's just not going to be an easy road, I think, for either of them," showrunner Angela Kang said when previewing Maggie and Negan's relationship next season. "And Negan's been on this whole other journey while she's been gone, but it's sort of like Maggie is coming in and she hasn't seen any of that."
The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, “A Certain Doom,” premieres Sunday, October 4 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.