Although it was somewhat muted by that irritating cliffhanger, Negan's introduction at the end of The Walking Dead's sixth season was a great moment for the series. The character is sure to have a big impact on the show moving forward, and creator Robert Kirkman is very excited about Jeffrey Dean Morgan's portrayal of the villain:
“Season 7 is going to be pretty great", Kirkman told Uproxx. "One of the side effects, and I’m going to stop talking about this because I know that’s going to be a whole other article on its own, but one of the side effects that I’m upset about is that people aren’t talking about Jeffrey Dean Morgan enough. I think that he is absolutely amazing as Negan. I think that his presence in that finale adds so much to the show. I know people don’t like the cliffhanger aspect of it, but I like to think that everything up to that moment was pretty amazing, and people were digging it".
"I think people are discounting the fact that Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Negan are in the show now, so you’re going to be seeing stuff like that pretty much every episode of season 7", Kirkman continued. "Not necessarily cliffhangers. I don’t want to worry people, but Negan is going to be an ever-present, constant threat that is going to change everything moving forward. And maybe I’ve said things like that before, but I promise you, Negan is going to be different. Season 7 is going to be really cool. I couldn’t be more excited about it".
Rick and the gang have dealt with some evil men in the past, but they haven't dealt with anyone quite like Negan before. When you couple Kirkman's comments with Norman Reedus' recent declaration that "the planet is going to explode" over The Walking Dead's seventh season, it sounds like the show will deliver the goods when it returns later this year.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead will debut on AMC later in 2016.