Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, has been quoted as saying that if fans had been following Negan instead of Rick, then Negan would be the star of the show. This truth brings some morality to Negan, as he does care for his men in one way or another, but it’s difficult to side with Negan over Rick despite the circumstances.

In an interview with Time, executive producer Gale Hurd discussed her views on Season 7 and the fights between Rick and Negan. “Obviously from Negan’s point of view — and objectively — Rick and our group killed his followers in cold blood. They were asleep in that satellite station and so it wasn’t a “fair fight.”

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit Image ComicsThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit Image Comics

Rick Versus Negan

“On the other hand,” continues Hurd. “Rick doesn’t go out and kill people for no reason or torture people for no reason. He certainly doesn’t enjoy it and Negan does. Rick has tried the democratic route in the prison — he reverted to farming — I don’t see that being something that Negan would do.”

Regardless, however, they are similar. Hurd continues, “I think they’re very different characters and Negan is not someone who wants to share his power. There’s a reason why everyone who follows him says, “I’m Negan.” Rick is not the kind of person who would think, “Oh I need everyone who follows me to say “I’m Rick.”

These comments are more about character traits than leadership though. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one team is good while another is bad. Rick could still go down a similar road as Negan and has done so in the past. The point is, everyone feels justified when they think they are doing what’s right.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit Image ComicsThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit Image Comics

Evil in the Eye of the Beholder

“Good people can do bad things,” reminds Hurd. “Bad people are capable of mercy but that doesn’t make them good people. You’d have to believe that nobody can be rehabilitated after they’ve committed a crime and I happen to believe that people can be. So just because one of our characters has done something terrible, it doesn’t mean they’re lost.”

With the shooting schedule so far apart from the premier, some members of the cast are only now reminded of how vicious some shots can appear on television. The Season 7 premier was shot last November, so it was nearly a year before the cast and crew got to see the reaction from fans.

Given the fans’ reactions or not, the show will continue to explore the differences and similarities of Rick and Negan this season on The Walking Dead. “We’ve had a lot of violence,” reminds Hurd. “Rick bit someone’s throat out. That’s not what we intend. We only do things because of the impact those moments have on the characters on the show, so that the audience is feeling the same thing that those characters are [feeling].”

With that in mind, and when thinking back on past deaths, these deaths bring new life to the characters. Fans will remain ill about the death of Glenn and Abraham, but it’s all part of the plan to showcase the strengths of characters like Maggie, Enid, Sasha, and Rosita.