The Walking Dead: Is Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan Returning for Season 11?

Negan lives. After telling his origin story in "Here's Negan," The Walking Dead ends its extended Season 10 by teasing a next season showdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). When he's banished by Carol (Melissa McBride) amid increasing tensions at Alexandria, where the widowed Maggie now lives with her son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), memories of his late wife Lucille (Hilarie Burton Morgan) help Negan decide his future. The Season 10 finale ends with Negan returning to Alexandria with a swagger, a smirk — and a warning from Carol: "If you stay here, she will kill you."

"Here's Negan" diverges from the comic books when the exiled Negan returns to Alexandria. Years after Maggie decided against executing Negan for killing her husband, telling him he was "already worse than dead" behind bars, the Rhees must now live behind the same walls as the bat-swinging bad guy who murdered Glenn (Steven Yeun).

"Getting Hershel to Alexandria is so important. They've had no safety net as a family, and despite the challenge of Maggie being face-to-face with Negan again, nothing is more important than whatever she can do for her son," Cohan said in a behind-the-scenes video after Maggie returned home to find Negan a free man earlier this season. "I definitely would love for people to draw their own conclusions about what Maggie may be thinking when she and Negan come face-to-face again. There's a long road ahead, there's a lot to be done. He's in trouble."

Morgan returns as a series regular in the expanded Season 11 of The Walking Dead: the zombie drama will end in 2022 after airing its final 24 episodes.

"I'm just finishing [filming] Episode 3. We've been here for two months, so we're really taking our time," Morgan told Collider about the February shooting start on the super-sized Season 11. "We're doing 24 episodes, I think. It doesn't feel like the end yet and I'm glad because that's a long time to be thinking about the end. We have another year here to shoot, and we're shooting straight through. It's brutal. But I know it's there. It's in the back of all of our heads that it's there."

After the six bonus episodes that were the first to film during the coronavirus pandemic, culminating in "Here's Negan," the final season will be bigger in scope and scale. And according to Morgan, there's still "a lot of story to tell."

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"Our first two episodes, we had 28 shooting days. Normally, we do that in 16. So, it suddenly seems a lot bigger somehow," Morgan said. "I think everyone is keenly aware that it is our last year, as far as the writers and stuff. It feels good. It feels like the story is really good. I've only seen the first four scripts, and they're great. There's so far no reference and no feeling in the story that it's ending at all. It's opening up all of these new chapters that are really interesting and cool. I'm excited."

The Walking Dead's Final Season begins airing this summer on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.