Everyone who has made it this long on The Walking Dead has changed drastically since the end of the world. Much like military soldiers, the past is irrelevant and only the present matters.
Consider Glenn, who was a pizza boy or Carol, who was a stay-at-home abused wife. After surviving domestic abuse, she has become one of the toughest characters on the show, and then changing again to someone trying to avoid violence.
With the gang’s drastic changes in mind, it’s obvious for audiences to wonder about Negan’s life before the outbreak. Despite his outlandish introduction towards the end of Season 6, we don’t know much about Negan as an individual.
Negan on The Walking Dead | Photo Credit ScreenrantNegan’s Current Personality
Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, certainly has his own distinct personality. Some of that personality mirrors Rick’s leadership skills. In addition to having what it takes to lead, he is almost much more drastically charismatic, both in his playful and deadly demeanor (much like the Baer’s fighting style in Cinderella Man).
Negan’s background had been studied somewhat in the comics, but it’s possible (given the show’s new plot points) that it could be different on AMC’s version. When searching for inspiration, the actor felt that his personality was the same, even though his actions may be much different.
In Entertainment Weekly, Morgan describes Negan as a “little bit of an asshole and a little bit of a bully,” which makes him sound like a high school jock. Whatever the description, Negan has certainly managed to captivate audiences, be that from love or hate.
Negan on The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCNegan Before the End of the World
To understand Negan’s odd, almost sexual attachment to his baseball bat, it’s important to know the additional details of the backstory. Negan actually has a 48-page backstory in the series called ‘Here’s Negan.’
In the comic book series, Negan first appears as “Coach Negan,” where he is playing Ping-Pong in his garage with some neighborhood kids. After belittling one of the children, he feels regret, which he expresses with wife, Lucille. Overall, he is trying to be a fun teacher in and out of the classroom.
As a school gym teacher, Negan is somewhat of an a**hole to his students. He swears at them and receives complaints from a multitude of parents. But, these actions gave him the respect he wanted within his system.
Barricading Himself in Pain
Plot-wise, during his conversation with his wife, she is angry by his need for approval with the children and during her yelling, she suddenly collapses. Later, it is revealed that Lucille actually has cancer.
Negan, who is unable to cope with that fact that his wife is dying has an affair. Later, he reveals this fact to his wife and ends the affair. He dedicates his time to staying by her bedside, but she continues to get worse and worse.
This, in more ways than one, is when the world ends for Negan. Walkers overtake the exterior of the hospital and Negan barricades himself in with his dying wife. During his attempt to barricade the room, Lucille passes away. The bat would appear to be more a metaphor, for the leader of the Saviors.