The Walking Dead spoilers follow.
The latest episode of The Walking Dead (March 27) revealed a shocking twist that marked a major departure from the comics.
Season 11 episode 14, titled ‘The Rotten Core’, revealed that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Annie (Medina Senghore) are married and expecting a child.
In the months after Negan left Alexandria, viewers learned the former villain is now a respected member of the Riverbend group.
Elsewhere in the episode, Negan was forced into an emotional confrontation with Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn’s son.
The youngster drew a gun and threatened Negan once he discovered that he was the man responsible for his dad’s death.
The surprise storyline marks a major departure from the comic book series.
In the comics, Negan’s character doesn’t make an appearance in the current story arc, and instead only reemerges in the final comic in the series.
Opening up about the new direction, The Walking Dead writer Jim Barnes said it was about “honouring” Negan’s character.
“I think it was just about looking at what happened before and honoring what happened before and thinking about him coming into the realization that his presence is causing immense stress on everybody around him,” he told Insider. “Just the fact that he’s there.”
At the end of the episode, Negan told youngster Hershel to “come and find” him once he’s grown up if he still wants to settle the score between them.
The scene showed a different side to Negan, who in the past is known for his brutal, no-holds-barred attitude.
“He’s never gonna be able to hug him,” said Jim. “That isn’t lost on Negan, what he did.
“I think he knows he’s showing empathy in that situation and saying that he knows exactly how he feels. If that’s the path that happens, he understands it. He’s not gonna try to fight it.”
The Walking Dead season 11 airs on AMC in the US and STAR on Disney+ in the UK.
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