The Walking Dead Boss Teases Negan Redemption Storyline

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The final episode of The Walking Dead Season 9 was heavy on the snow, but it did seem to confirm that a former villain had let his cold heart thaw out. 

Yes, we're talking about Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) here!

Warm, Cozy, and Shackled - The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 16, titled "The Storm" focused on how the communities were dealing with a blizzard that was pushing them to the depths of despair. 

As Negan, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Judith (Cailey Fleming), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Siddiq (Avi Nash), and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) made their way to Aaron's house with the aim of getting some heat, Judith broke off from the group when she heard Dog barking. 

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 16 Review: The Storm

Daryl previously tasked Judith with looking after the dog while he helped transport the remaining people from Kingdom to The Hilltop. 

Negan put his life on the line to save Judith's life. He also saved Dog and found himself injured in the process. It made many viewers believe that the person responsible for killing some of the show's most popular characters was turning a corner. 

Happy Camper - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Negan even got to have a chat with Michonne (Danai Gurira) in which the pair had their most genuine conversation to date. Michonne was thankful but also surprised at the change for the villain. 

Showrunner Angela Kang has chatted about the storyline, confirming that we will see more "redeemable aspects" of Negan. 

"He's not a saint," she told Entertainment Weekly.

"There are times where he's suppressing the worst thoughts that he has in his head, because I do think that that's a part of him.

"He knows how to put on a show. He's a showman, right? But that doesn't mean that the person that he was for however many years before the apocalypse started just disappeared."

Path Toward Redemption - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

"I think that that's a really important thing for the audience and for us writers to keep in mind going forward."

"We still have the leeway to play different kinds of stories for him and show the moments where there are more redeemable aspects of him, because I think that's always been important to us on the show."

Negan's reign of terror came to an end on the final episode of The Walking Dead Season 8, but Kang stresses that "so much time has passed" since that point. 

Related: The Walking Dead Renewed for Season 10

The Walking Dead Season 9 was littered with time jumps, so it does make sense that he could have made some changes while inside the cell. 

Fate Worse Than Death - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 6

"How can he be exactly the same person that he was at the end of All-Out War? He's trying to become a part of this community now. So what does that mean?" she said.

"But Negan is Negan. The fun of Negan is that he has elements of him that are a little unpredictable. He's a little raw, he's a little inappropriate, he definitely has an edge."

"To me, you can't strip away those things that are the defining characteristics of him, because otherwise what you're really doing is creating a new character."

What do you think, The Walking Dead Fanatics?

Is there hope for Negan, or will he always be a villain?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch The Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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