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The Walking Dead Completes Negan’s Redemption

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Negan’s redemption has been a long time coming on The Walking Dead, but after “Faith,” he can finally say that he’s paid for his mistakes.


The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 22, “Faith,” which debuted Sunday, Nov. 6 on AMC.

The Walking Dead is coming to a close in just a few episodes, but there are still a lot of things that need to be wrapped up. Viewers need to know if the Commonwealth will survive under new leadership or if Daryl and company will completely raze it. Fans also want to know who survives. Given the upcoming spinoffs, most of the protagonists have to make it out alive — which is what’s made Negan’s Season 11 arc interesting.


TWD’s finale has to lead into those spinoffs. One of which, The Walking Dead: Dead City, will feature Maggie and Negan going on some kind of mission in New York. Given their storied past they seem like an odd pairing, but Season 11, Episode 22, “Faith” finished off Negan’s redemption arc — allowing him to potentially reconcile with Maggie and setting the stage for their show.

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Why Everyone Hated Negan

Negan With His Bat On The Walking Dead TV Show

Negan’s first act on TWD was punishing Rick Grimes and his group for killing all the people at the satellite station. Negan rounded them all up and made his presence felt by bashing in some brains with the baseball bat that he called Lucille. His first victim was Abraham, and his second victim — thanks to Daryl’s outburst — was Maggie’s husband Glenn. From that point on everyone hated Negan, but that was only the beginning of the horrific acts he committed. Negan’s redemption arc has been so long and difficult because he started from such an evil place.

As soon as the Savior War was over, Negan began a redemption arc… albeit a slow one. After spending years in a jail cell, he infiltrated the Whisperers and killed Alpha. He’s been trying to mesh with the group, too, with limited success. For most of Season 11, he’s been a pretty good guy and even got married to Annie. However, not everyone was pleased with his turnaround. Early in “Faith,” Ezekiel decided to confront Negan and made it clear that the two of them were not friends. He couldn’t forgive all the evil things that Negan had done.

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How TWD Finally Redeemed Negan

the walking dead negan season 11c

Ezekiel changed his tune later in “Faith.” The warden had Negan looking for an instigator and Negan could have said anyone in order to save himself. Yet he turned himself in so that everyone else would be okay. He was fully prepared to sacrifice himself — but the warden decided Annie was also going to die. That’s when Ezekiel marched everyone in front of the firing squad, led a mini-rebellion and saved Negan’s life.

For Negan, seeing his spouse at someone else’s mercy put him into Maggie’s shoes when Glenn died. Having felt that and being willing to die for the group showed that he finally understood the severity of his past actions. Separating people and punishing them just to keep them in line was bad enough, but killing out of spite was something that he grew to regret. Now that he’s seen things from the opposite perspective, he should be able to reconcile with Maggie, allowing them to take part in The Walking Dead: Dead City together.

New episodes of The Walking Dead air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on AMC and stream a week early on AMC+.

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