It seems Negan’s attempt to break the group was mostly successful, but The Walking Dead creator says Maggie is going to surprise us.
The events of The Walking Dead season premiere were shocking to fans. To the show’s characters, though, the arrival of Negan and the deaths of Glenn and Abraham are a complete game changer.
Negan Takes it Too Far
Photo Credit AMC
Negan’s goal was to break the will of Rick and the group. With the death of Abraham, it seemed he had mostly achieved his goal. Then Daryl jumped up and punched him in the face. So Negan killed Glenn as well. At that point, the group seemed utterly destroyed – except for one man. Rick stayed defiant throughout the episode. It wasn’t until Negan forced him to confront the possibility of cutting off Carl’s arm that Rick finally broke.
So what happens now? How will the group continue and recover from these events? The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman says it won’t be easy.
A Broken Rick
“This is a completely different Rick Grimes,” says Kirkman. “The show is all about evolution. We’ve seen Rick Grimes grow harder and harder and more resilient and more capable, but this is him torn down to his lowest point and having everything stripped away. If you look at the fear in Andrew Lincoln’s eyes when he realizes, he’s going to have to chop off his son’s arm; that’s really the moment where he completely breaks.”
How to Cope?
The group had dealt with Rick when he wasn’t completely himself. After the death of his wife, Lori, Rick started to hallucinate. Still, they’ve never seen Rick like this. “What we have now is a Rick Grimes that’s completely broken,” says Kirkman. “And we know that Rick is in that mindset based on that first episode, but what’s going to be deeply interesting throughout the season is how all the other characters around him deal with this. It all hinges on how, in that first episode, Maggie is expecting Rick to react. You’ll see as we go on that this is a new world for everyone and a lot of people who have been counting on Rick since the beginning aren’t really going to know how to handle this. So it’s going to be a really interesting place to explore moving forward.”
As it turns out, Negan wasn’t successful in breaking the whole group. The death of Glenn emboldened Maggie. “If anything, this accelerates her trajectory,” says Kirkman. “I think she’s always been a very strong character and she’s always been someone that’s been very capable, but I don’t think she’s ever been this driven. She’s definitely going to be out for revenge, and she definitely has a big motive here to try and avenge Glenn’s death. That’s going to be a huge source of conflict for her. Whether it derails her off the trajectory of the comic book story or gets her there faster remains to be seen. But there are definitely some interesting things coming up for Maggie.”