The Walking Dead showrunner explains why Negan leaves Maggie behind to die to start Season 11 only to save her twice over in "Hunted." Spoiler warning for Sunday's Season 11 Episode 3. When Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) guides Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) mission to Meridian, their last hope of saving a starving Alexandria, he suspects she's a vengeful widow leading him on a death march to avenge Glenn (Steven Yeun). Negan sees an opportunity to let a walker-snagged Maggie die in "Acheron: Part 1," only for her to make an unlikely escape — and then choose to trust Negan with a gun to survive a subway tunnel teeming with zombies in "Acheron: Part 2."
In "Hunted," Maggie and Negan again survive together after a deadly assault by the Reapers separates them from their group. When Reapers attack Maggie and Alden (Callan McAuliffe), Negan saves the day with a few swings of a crowbar to finish off the masked killer seconds from finishing off Maggie.
Negan saves Maggie again moments later, this time shoving her to safety from a tossed grenade. With Alden injured in the attack, the trio have to stick together to make it to the supply house hidden in Arbor Hills.
"When Negan saves Maggie, I think he's accepted that to get through this, I mean, Maggie's a really good fighter, too. He doesn't want to see her go," explained showrunner Angela Kang on The Walking Dead: Episode Insider. "He's very, very drawn to people who are very strong and stubborn and have leadership qualities. We've seen that throughout the years. In some ways, you might even say that was sort of his Achilles' heel, is that he was always thinking, 'I can turn this person to my side, and I like you because you're a badass and you tell it like it is, and I like that you push up against me.' And he's always trying to go like, 'Come on! Take all of that and just transfer it to my team. If we work together, it's all going to work out.'"
Kang previously spoke on the "tiny bit of trust" between Maggie and Negan after "Acheron: Part 2," where Maggie hands him a gun that he later returns as part of a truce.
"I think that that's actually kind of consistent with his character. As much as he doesn't trust Maggie and fears her, when she does give him that gun in the subway, I think that that kind of triggers a little bit of a sense in him of, 'Maybe I don't have to be afraid that she's going to shoot me in the head when the opportunity comes. Maybe she does find me valuable, and that's something I can work with, in some kind of way," said Kang. "So I think when he saves her [in 'Hunted'], he probably does it out of instinct, but I also think he's smart enough to think, 'We are kind of in it together and we're stuck together, so let me see if I can get a favor from her, too.' Because he did pick her over Alden."
From @MoeHamka_ and @teenwolfhumanprevnext
From @QueenCatCreates and @reneenee652003
Damn negan saved maggie! #TheWalkingDead— Caitlin (@QueenCatCreates) September 6, 2021
Maggie and Negan working together...who would have thought? #TheWalkingDead— Renee (@reneenee652003) September 6, 2021
From @Glitter772 and @saitrackeleven
Negan to the rescue 💗 #TheWalkingDead— Mrs. O'Dette (@Glitter772) September 6, 2021
this is a very unlikely team #TheWalkingDead— jina ψ 47 (@saitrackeleven) September 6, 2021
From @pookiepete and @__cx_prevnext
From @_taylorquinn and @PieterJKetelaarprevnext
From @DeanaXburke and @Amanda_Ray
"I'm on your side Maggie." Negan is one of the people that is dedicated to helping Maggie. She just needs to learn to trust him. Not forgive him. She wouldn't have lost so many people if her hatred for him didn't blindly lead her #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/Mt1BooDa0o— DeanaMarie (@DeanaXburke) September 6, 2021