Why Negan’s Time Might Be Finally Up On ‘The Walking Dead’

Gene Page/AMC

For nearly two seasons, the main villains on The Walking Dead have been Negan and his Saviors. As Rick is the hero of the AMC series, it's up to Rick to kill Negan on The Walking Dead. While Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan is a charismatic character, no one can deny that the post-apocalyptic world would be a far better place without him terrorizing the surviving humans. However, unlike villains in the past, who haven't lasted very long against Rick and his crew, it's probably best not to expect that Negan will be defeated soon — or perhaps, even way off in the future.

As if Rick didn't already have enough reasons to want to kill Negan, in the Season 7 finale, Negan taunted Rick when he thought Michonne had died and then threatened to kill Carl in front of him. Yet, the Kingdom — and specifically, Ezekiel's tiger Shiva — came to save the day and stopped Negan from killing Carl with Lucille. Negan got away that time, but Rick vowed to kill Negan multiple times in Season 7 and when Rick makes a promise, he typically likes to keep it. So with an "all out war" raging in Season 8, now might be Rick's chance to finally take him down. Although, unfortunately, the Season 8 trailer doesn't give any indication of that since Rick and Negan never appear in a scene together during it.

If Rick were to kill Negan in Season 8, it would most definitely not occur until the second half, which will probably air next year, like with previous seasons. And AMC won't be teasing any footage from after the midseason finale just yet. However, the actors behind Rick and Negan know how badly fans want to see them face off, as they discussed in a "'look at Season 8" video.

Andrew Lincoln said, "The general consensus seems to be about 98 percent, 'Please, could you kill Negan?'" And he added, "I'm going to do my best to seek revenge." As for Morgan, he embodied his character's persona by seeming fairly confident that he'd survive, despite what fans want. "I think the fans this year probably want to see Negan get a little bit of his ass kicked. Do I think it's gonna happen? No. No one's gonna get Negan," Morgan said. He later teased, "Will Negan get his? I don't know. I'm still sitting here in front of you right now."

As for the life span of major villains on The Walking Dead, they typically last two seasons or less. Rick killed Shane in Season 2. The Governor died in the Season 4 midseason finale after first appearing in Season 3. And although there were varying levels of suspense built up around the Claimers, the cannibals at Terminus, the people at Grady Memorial Hospital, and the Wolves, all of those groups' times were fairly short-lived. So even though Negan seems more important than any of the previous villains, he arrived in Season 6, which could mean his time is up in Season 8.

But the best indicator for how long Negan will survive on The Walking Dead is the comics. Comic spoilers follow, so skip to the last paragraph if you don't want to know Negan's future in the graphic novel. While Rick says he will kill Negan on the TV show, in the comics, Rick allows Negan to live after the war with the Saviors. He keeps Negan in a jail cell for over two years until Negan escapes and joins the Whisperers.

If you find Negan somewhat endearing despite his despicable behavior, well, you're not off base since Negan becomes somewhat of an ally of Rick's and he's still alive as of the most recent issue of The Walking Dead comics, "Hilltop Reborn." Although he eventually leaves Rick's group, he'll be the main character in the forthcoming "A Solitary Life," out on Dec. 6, 2017. So if the TV show follows the comics, Rick may never kill Negan — or kill him way off in the future, depending on how comic creator Robert Kirkman wraps up his story.

However, the AMC series often strays from its source material, so just because some viewers know Negan's fate in the comics, doesn't mean that the TV show will stick to it. But even with that in mind, it's probably safe to say that Negan will survive for more than two seasons on the show unlike many other villains on The Walking Dead. And if Negan is killed down the line, Rick better be responsible for — or at least satisfied with — his nemesis' demise.