- Warning: There are main spoilers forward for “The Walking Dead,” season 11, episode two.
- So far, season 11 seems to be making Maggie a villain to make former villain, Negan, extra likable.
- Showrunner Angela Kang tells Insider that is not the case. “TWD” has the possibility to redeem itself to followers it upset way back.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for extra tales.
Is “The Walking Dead” making Maggie into a villain so as to make Negan extra likable?
It certain appears that means after watching the primary two episodes of the present’s closing season, however showrunner Angela Kang says that is not the case.
“It’s a great question about Maggie and Negan. It’s not our intention to really make her a villain to make Negan shine,” Kang informed Insider earlier this month once we requested if the present is making Maggie appear like a little bit of a dangerous man so as to make Negan extra likable.
On Sunday’s episode, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) makes a brutal name, permitting Gage be torn aside by walkers when others, together with Alden, argue that they had time to save his life. (Maybe that was Gage’s punishment for bailing on the group final episode with their provides.)
Later, Maggie tells a fairly cutthroat and harrowing story of what she had to do at one level to guarantee she and Hershel survived. After killing a group of males, she discovered tortured girls alive in an attic with their eyes gouged out and limbs severed. Maggie mentioned her first thought wasn’t to try to assist them, however that there have to be meals in the home that was protecting them alive. So she “took care of them.”
“Hershel and I filled the cart with it, and we left,” Maggie tells the survivors after Gage’s dying, including, “I don’t feel anything when I tell you that.”
Yes, all of our survivors have down some fairly unspeakable issues to get to the present’s closing season, however even this appeared fairly ruthless and a little out of character for Maggie.
Before that, on the season premiere, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) accused Maggie of being so caught up in her rage towards him that it was affecting her potential to put the protection of her personal individuals first. At one level, he even requested if anybody needed to depart the tunnels with him.
Like it or not, regardless of leaving Maggie to probably die on the season premiere cliffhanger, Negan was making some fairly legitimate factors as he was not solely looking for his personal security, but in addition the protection of others.
What’s happening with Maggie?
Kang defined that what we have seen since Negan’s debut on the season seven premiere when he brutally killed Maggie’s husband, Glenn, is a shift within the two character’s ethos. Like it or not, at this level, Maggie and Negan could also be a bit extra comparable than both might care to admit.
“Negan may have moved a little bit more towards Maggie, but I think Maggie, as a result of the things that she faced out on the road, has moved a little bit towards Negan,” Kang mentioned.
“There are a lot of gray areas for all of our heroes and they are trying to grapple with those things,” Kang continued. “They’re trying to make the right decision for themselves, their people, their loved ones. Maggie, she doesn’t mess around and we’ve seen that in the past as well, but she’s definitely had to kind of go a little darker at times.”
‘TWD’ has used its in style feminine characters to assist make the case for Negan
Though “TWD” might not purposefully be vilifying Maggie to prop up Negan, the present has inarguably used its roster of feminine characters to assist make viewers empathize with the previous chief of the Saviors a bit extra since season 9.
- Judith befriended Negan to assist inform others that he wasn’t such a dangerous man. By the tip of season 9, Negan was someway the one one who went off looking for Judith when she went lacking throughout a snow storm. (Frankly, it was a little powerful to consider that nobody else would go to the ends of the Earth to save Rick Grimes’ daughter.)
- Michonne’s closing episode nearly grew to become a little much less about Michonne and extra about showcasing a “what if” situation to make the case that Negan and his group weren’t so totally different from Rick’s survivors. In an alternate actuality, Michonne by no means meets and joins up with Rick. Instead, she turns into one in every of Negan’s high fighters. Iconic moments from the present are revisited and proven from Michonne’s perspective as a devoted member of the Saviors in order that Rick’s group is made out to be the dangerous guys in a “sliding doors” situation.
- After Negan kills Alpha for Carol, we’re supposed to really feel a bit dangerous for Negan. Carol does not preserve good on her phrase to assist clear Negan’s identify at Alexandria. Instead, Carol sends Negan off to reside out the remainder of his days in a cabin.
- Even the nice “Here’s Negan” episode used Negan’s spouse, Lucille, to assist present the person as soon as had some redeemable qualities. The present did not shrink back from exhibiting that Negan wasn’t a saint. (That would have been the episode’s downfall in the event that they pretended Negan was the right husband.) Instead, the collection included the truth that he was dishonest on his spouse, though in a barely totally different means that makes a large distinction to how followers work together with the character. In the comics, Negan cheats on his spouse whereas understanding she has most cancers. On the present, Negan stops an affair the second he learns about his spouse’s analysis and turns into a doting husband. That small writing selection makes Negan barely much less of a jerk when he turns into utterly dedicated to protecting his spouse alive.
After two episodes of “TWD’s” closing season, it is tough not to take into account that Maggie’s ethical compass is being compromised a bit so as to elevate Negan, a man who straight prompted her trauma.
Even Jeffrey Dean Morgan has questioned some story decisions between Maggie and Negan on the ultimate season out of concern.
When Morgan realized Negan was going to depart Maggie for lifeless on the season premiere, he referred to as up a few solid members, together with Norman Reedus, who performs Daryl, and Cohan earlier than talking with Kang.
“I had talked to Lauren and I had talked to Norm [Reedus] and then I called Angela and I was like, ‘This is a horrible idea. Any good that we have done is immediately gone,” Morgan mentioned on the collection’ aftershow, “Talking Dead.”
Morgan additionally questioned whether or not or not Negan ought to dare to converse Glenn’s identify to Maggie, saying that was cellphone name quantity two.
The actor is conscious about how Negan’s actions could also be interpreted by followers. Negan’s controversial entry onto the show on the season six finale/season seven premiere is often credited with when many viewers left the series.
It’s taken years for some (not all) followers to heat up to the character.
We’ll proceed to see Maggie and Negan’s story play out all through this closing season. Honestly? It’s lengthy overdue.
“Those two do have a continuing story as they’re trying to grapple with how they coexist,” Kang informed Insider of Maggie and Negan. “Can they work together? Is there forgiveness and redemption to be found? Are they ultimately going to go back to their own corners?”
“It’s definitely not to try to specifically show any light in Negan, but it’s just to show that there is really a mix for both of them,” Kang mentioned, emphasizing once more that they are not attempting to raise Negan up at Maggie’s expense. “They have moments where each of them can do heroic things. There’s also moments that they can both do dark things and they’re just crashing together.”
Regardless of how you are feeling in regards to the present Maggie and Negan dynamic on “TWD,” I truly like and applaud that “TWD” shouldn’t be solely revisiting the collection’ most controversial second, however leaning into it to (hopefully) have a tough dialog and never only for the sake of exploiting these two characters for scores.
The pressure between Maggie and Negan is at present the most compelling story line on the final season.
Is Maggie going to kill Negan? (She nearly did within the comics.) Will Negan wind up sacrificing himself to save Maggie — or her and Glenn’s son Hershel — at some essential second? Is Hershel going to be taught that Negan killed his father? If so, will Hershel do one thing about it (promo photographs present Hershel coaching with Judith)? Could Hershel kill Negan?
We’re exterior the realm of the comics now, so something appears attainable. Whether or not you are a fan of Negan, I believe followers could be mendacity in the event that they mentioned not one of the above potentialities sounds, in any case, intriguing.
To an outsider it might sound drained for the present to drudge up an previous second that upset many followers. It’s a daring danger to revisit a second the present tried to keep away from discussing for years.
After the collection began turning into kind of the Negan present on seasons seven and eight, outlined by the character as a kind of one-dimensional villain who favored to hear himself converse, Kang neatly positioned him in a jail cell for half a season when she took over as showrunner on season 9. At the time, Cohan briefly left the collection.
Kang labored to get the present again on observe as an ensemble collection, letting different characters shine earlier than revisiting and including extra depth to Negan.
But in doing so, it appeared like lots of Negan’s previous transgressions had been merely going to be swept beneath the rug as an alternative of really mentioned. The present strayed from having significant conversations about Negan so as to try to achieve again the belief of its fandom. But, in some unspecified time in the future, followers don’t need to be spoon-fed that Negan’s the bee’s knees after he killed one of many present’s most beloved characters.
It looks like Kang and the writers know that.
After Cohan returned to the present on the season 10 finale, the collection shockingly confirmed Maggie open up about Glenn’s dying, mentioning how Hershel asks about his father’s killer.
The heart-to-heart between Maggie and Daryl made it look like the present was lastly prepared to handle a few of her scars.
Kang beforehand informed Insider earlier this yr it was “painful” and “heartbreaking” for the writers to revisit the occasions of the season seven premiere given the episode’s reception. But they knew it would not be true to Maggie’s journey and what she’s been going by means of in the event that they did not handle “the deep, deep trauma that she went through with Glenn’s death.”
It’s taken about 5 years for ‘TWD’ to lastly have a true reckoning with the story line that turned off a massive phase of its fanbase. We’re prepared to see the place it goes.
It’s not simply Maggie who skilled that trauma.
The season seven premiere was tough for a lot of show-only viewers who weren’t conversant in how graphic Glenn’s dying was within the comedian. It was harder to see the fan favourite killed by a man who appeared to relish and take glee within the supply of that dying.
On the flip aspect, it was powerful for the individuals who labored on the present who had been simply attempting to precisely convey a graphic scene within the comics to life, believing that was what followers needed to see. Though it might have been what some comedian followers had been hoping for, it seems that wasn’t what an amazing quantity of the present’s viewers needed since viewership fell from over 17 million at the premiere to around 10 million a few short episodes later.
Getting some kind of closure years afterward this story line, whether or not it ends in forgiveness or Negan’s dying or one thing else all collectively appears like a large alternative for “TWD” to come to phrases with a second that unseated the present from being must-watch TV on Sunday nights.
Hopefully, it is delivered in a means which not solely helps Maggie heal, however with out sacrificing the integrity of her character.
Closing the loop on this story is not merely what Maggie’s owed, it is also what the viewers is owed to assist them be at peace with a second many by no means forgave “The Walking Dead” for years in the past.
You can observe together with our “TWD” protection all season lengthy right here.