Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Quickie: Why I Love Negan (The Walking Dead)

I want to start off with that I am not saying Negan is a moral character. In this post I am not saying that I agree with what Negan does all the time. In this post I am not trying to absolve him of his many sins.

Characters I adore don't always have to be moral characters. I am fine with liking problematic characters as they are fictional. It's not like I'm saying I would like to meet them in real life. In fiction there is a safety net so one can admire a person like Negan.

So why do I enjoy the character so much?
The Actor

Okay, I admit part of the reason I like Negan is because I adore the actor. When I like an actor/actress it just becomes so hard for me to hate one of their characters.

This is the reason I like Cersei Lannister so much on Game of Thrones. I just can't hate a character played by Lena Headey.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the man who plays Negan in The Walking Dead, has played roles that I've enjoyed. There are two that stick out to me.

The Comedian from Watchmen. This is really the role that made me think Morgan could play Negan. I'm not a comic book reader, at least for the most part, and so only had others' opinions to go off of. From what The Walking Dead villain sounded like, The Comedian seemed like a good audition.

The other role is, of course, John Winchester from Supernatural. Extremely different from Negan, though. In the CW's show's recent season they made a reference to The Walking Dead villain.
He Has a Set of Rules

Negan, for all his cruelty, has a set of rules. These rules can be extremely devastating but they are still there. It shows that he has restraints. He can do a lot of bad stuff but there is a limit to what he will do. He punishes those who break the rules harshly as they're extremely important to him.
One of the things he is against is rape. He may make the offer to be his wife pleasant, but he always allows the person to have a choice. True, if you don't accept Negan's offer bad things can happen. But at least you can decide to refuse his request.

People who read The Walking Dead comics have brought up that the whole Negan's wife thing is clearer in the source material. His wives are shown to easily be able to stop being his wife if they want.
Negan, for all his cruelty, has lines he just won't cross. And, if he crosses those lines, he won't do so lightly.

While killing Glenn seemed to be an unfair move, Negan was working within his rules. He wouldn't have killed the former pizza delivery boy if someone hadn't reacted badly. So even when he smudged his rules, Negan never ignored them completely.
The fact that Negan has rules doesn't make him a moral character. They don't make him a good character.

But they do show that he isn't working on pure chaos. He isn't working to watch the world burn. He is merely seeking to survive in this new world.
He is Charismatic

There is no denying that Negan is charismatic. There is a way that even when he is doing something horrible, I just can't hate him completely. Even when he killed Abaraham and Glenn there was some charm. I'm not saying the Season 7 Premiere of The Walking Dead was pleasant with my tear ducts as witnesses.

What I'm saying is that there is an air to Negan where you can see how he could enchant followers.
I kept waiting for the scene that would make me fully loathe Negan. I kept waiting for him to do something so horrible that I could never forgive him. I didn't want to keep liking such a horrible character.

However, that moment never came.
Even though Negan is beyond charismatic, there is always a sense of danger around him. His mood can go from happy to murderous rage in a second. Whenever he's on screen I feel tense as I don't know what he's about to do.

Negan never stops being a villain. That part of him will never go away and I don't want it to. So far he is the only villain that I've thought of as a threat on The Walking Dead.

Maybe that's another reason I want to see more Negan: he is the only villain I have feared so far on the show.

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