“The Walking Dead” fans are seeing a different Negan on the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character may claim redemption in different ways, including partnering with Daryl Dixon (Normal Reedus) and being a father figure to Judith Grimes.

“The Walking Dead” stumbled upon one of the most cruel and most feared villains on its run. The viewers got hooked on the television screen when Negan joined the series in Season 6. During his arrival, he and his barb-wired bat Lucille killed fan favorites and broke viewers’ heart. Negan was responsible for killing two of the series’ favorite and nicest characters, Steve Yeun’s Glenn and Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham.

The villain’s journey to terror ended in the Season 8 finale after the Saviors were beaten in a battle against Rick Grimes’ party. Instead of killing Negan, Rick and Michonne made a humane choice and spared him his life. After that, Negan spent years in jail in Alexandria.

“The Walking Dead” Season 9 has not seen much of Negan, but his story arc is slowly changing. Rick’s daughter, Judith, has been talking to Negan while in his cell, and an unlikely friendship between them unfolds. It may be Judith’s curiosity toward Negan that has attracted her to him. Negan’s loneliness in his cell, on the other hand, left him no choice but to reciprocate that interest in Judith.

The friendship may actually grow into something deeper, like a daughter-father relationship. After all, Negan has still a soft spot for children, as seen on how he sympathized with Carl in Season 7. Carl and Negan developed a special friendship in the comics. With Carl dead on the TV show, it only makes sense that Judith will be replacing Carl’s story arc.

“The Walking Dead” may have a lot in store for Morgan’s character. Executive producer Greg Nicotero teases on Negan’s redemption arc, saying a different side of Negan will be seen in the show. Kang also confirmed Negan’s transformation and how solitary confinement might have changed him.

Season 9 Episode 9 saw Negan walked out of his cell after a distraught Father Gabriel forgot to lock the cell door. Contrary to what happened in the comics, where Negan returned to his cell, Negan in the TV series walked out the door like a freeman. He visited the spot where he killed Glenn and Abraham and maybe felt remorse. He went back to the Sanctuary, and realizing there’s nothing out there for him, he returned to Alexandria. Season 9 Episode 12 sees Negan back in his prison cell.

Viewers believe that Negan is going to be redeemed in a different light. Morgan reveals in Walker Stalker Cruise 2019 that he teases actress Danai Gurira (Michonne) about him being an adoptive dad to Judith and RJ. Now that Gurira had confirmed her departure from the series, this story arc is only but rational.

Another twist that the series may have been brewing for viewers is the unlikely partnership of Negan and Daryl. In the comics, Negan proved his wager to Rick by helping them fight the Whisperers. However, in the television series, Rick is missing in action, which left Daryl as the survivors’ leader.

Morgan and Reedus are best pals off camera. Viewers are rooting for the actors’ characters to be the same on camera, fighting the walkers side by side. An unofficial source claimed that Morgan has been wanting to see Reedus’ and his characters become best friends in the show.

What do you think of the fan theories on Negan?