After firing a gun to save Carol in The Walking Dead Season 6 finale, Morgan will continue to face challenges to his way of life.
Morgan Jones missed out on the brutal encounter with Negan in The Walking Dead season premiere. As a result, he doesn’t feel the need for revenge that the rest of the survivors likely feel. Still, after breaking his “no killing” pledge in the Season 6 finale, he’ll continue to struggle. As we saw in last week’s episode, Morgan caught himself with an itchy trigger finger. It was during a run-in with the Saviors, the same group that caused Morgan to kill the last time.
Actor Lennie James, who plays Morgan, says it’s an ongoing struggle for the character. “I think it’s one of the things that people have slightly misunderstood about the journey Morgan is going on,” James said. “He’s trying to live a life where all life is precious. He’s trying. He’s not there yet. He’s not Eastman. He doesn’t have the benefit of being locked away in a hut with a goat. He’s out in the world. He’s trying to get it done.”
Before Negan and After Negan
Image Credit: AMC
James also talked about watching the premiere, which he wasn’t a part of “It was brutal but it was also brilliant,” James said. “It was heartbreaking. It was somewhere we had to go in order to stay true to our source material. It was a reminder to all of us about the realities of the world that our story is told in and every now and then we have to shake the bag.”
Many fans have already begun referring to The Walking Dead with two different eras. There’s “Before Negan” and “After Negan.” James agrees with that sentiment.
“I think Season 7 is gonna be a marker,” James said. “The season premiere kind of set that in stone. I think this show is gonna be seen to a greater or lesser extent in terms on before Season 7 Episode 1 and after Season 7 Episode 1.”
Don’t Forget About King Ezekiel
The talk surrounding The Walking Dead this year has centered around Negan. After his introduction in the Season 6 finale, all of the buzz surrounded who Negan would kill. For James, though, it was all about King Ezekiel.
“Everybody was talking about the introduction of Negan and quite rightly so,” James said. “For me, obviously because of where I was working, it was always about the introduction of King Ezekiel.”
Ezekiel is an over-the-top character in the comics. Bringing him to the screen was always going to be a tricky proposition. “He is a character that, in the hands of a lesser actor, could have gone really, really wrong,” James said. “But Khary [Payton] gets it absolutely right. He lands it at the right place, he kept it at the right pace, and he sets it at the right tone.”
“We understand why the people he rules over want him to be the king,” James said. “We understand why he’s playing this particular game for them. He fits in with all of our iconic figures. Whether it be Negan, whether it be Rick, whether it be Deanna, he’s another one added to those.”
It looks like we’re leaving The Kingdom behind for the time being. But you can be sure we’ll see more of Morgan, Carol, and Ezekiel later this season.