“The Walking Dead” has come and gone (at least first of the seventh season) and what intrigued me most in the season is the character of Negan. It is not a surprise though after all he is considered as best villain in the “The Walking Dead” comics. But what intrigued me most about Negan is how similar he is with one of the best villains of all time “Joker”.
Before going let me clarify that I don’t read comics so the majority of discussion about Negan is from TV series and Joker from Nolan’s movie “The Dark Knight”.
Now coming to the topic again, a lot of personality and characterization it seems to me has directly influenced from Joker. I had an idea very early in the season may be with the first episode but it struck the home with the seventh episode. The episode in which Carl try to take down Negan on its own. For a record, I found entire sequence silly. The narrative was largely sacrificed to get the Carl and Negan together (I have another complaint with the show that it lacks creativity in story telling). It was basically telling us that we need to show this thing and we don’t care about logic. But after that shortcut, the entire narrative had a very interesting characterization of Negan.
We saw a lot of elements in the episode that describe Negan to us; His power, his allure, his cruelty, his colony and his threats. But what was not directly implied but expected from us to understand was fear Negan impose on people. Not just entire sequence, but from the day the Negan enter the picture we have been shown how he imposes fear in the heart of the people.
As mention earlier, Carl single-handedly tries to take down Negan but apparently forgets the purpose as episode proceeds. This makes me question why not Carl kill Negan when he had so many chances. After all, it seems he came with a suicide mission. But entire situation reminded me of Joker again. I can say he is Joker of The walking dead. When in the finale episode of last season he played the game of killing Rick’s group, he was imposing fear. In the first episode, he killed Glenn and Abraham he imposed fear in the heart of Rick. Others didn’t understand the threat but Rick did. Rick could have taken Negan down so many times in future episodes. But his fear stopped him. What if he makes some mistake? What will Negan do? Will he kill Carl or Judith?
Negan is the spiritual brother of the joker we saw in “The Dark Knight” the manipulative villain who change white Knight of Gotham “Harvey dent” to “Two Face”. With the boat scene, in the end, Joker tried to show the world the true nature of Human. Joker understood the dark side of a human while Negan understands the fear side of human. They both have a psychological understanding of the human. I loved this about the seventh season. Joker would have been so proud of him.
Now toward the end of the finale, we know that Rick has decided to go to the War with Negan. Does it mean Rick was able to break the psychological barrier of Negan’s fear? Does Negan have much more tricks under its sleeves except being just a good manipulative villain? I think yes and it is would be great second half of the season when Rick and other colonies would combine to take down Negan, while Negan could surprise them with some of its own action. I wonder and hope that this sequence of events happens. It would be interesting to see how Rick and gang would handle real Negan.