Daryl would’ve killed Negan after he left Maggie for dead in The Walking Dead season 11, says Norman Reedus. The eleventh and final season of AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama just began two weeks ago and it didn’t take long for things to get dramatic.
Things have of course been dramatic between Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) for a long time, beginning with Negan brutally killing Maggie’s husband Glenn. But the tension between the two characters was ramped up even further in the first two season 11 episodes, “Acheron: Part I” and “Acheron: Part II.” In “Part I,” Maggie forced Negan along on a food-gathering expedition to Washington DC, needing Negan’s knowledge to navigate the ruined metropolis. Negan however saw an ulterior motive in Maggie bringing him along, namely, that she meant to kill him – confronting her about this while taking a potshot at the deceased Glenn for “dying like a dog.” Episode 1 then ended in cliffhanger fashion as Maggie appeared about to be ripped apart by walkers while Negan watched, doing nothing to help her. However, Maggie survived and later rejoined the group, confronting Negan about his actions.
Maggie ultimately elected not to kill Negan even though she might have been justified in doing so, allowing the ever-dangerous former Saviors leader to go on breathing and scheming. But according to The Walking Dead star Reedus, things would’ve been different had his character Daryl been present for this particular scene (instead of being off doing Daryl stuff). As Reedus told EW, “[Daryl] would have slit his throat. Hands down, he’d be dead.”
Indeed the general feeling among Walking Dead cast members seems to be that Negan has been particularly bad so far in season 11. Morgan himself said in the wake of episode 1 that he believed Negan stepped over the line by bringing up Glenn while confronting Maggie, and revealed he actually fought to have the Glenn line removed before later admitting it was appropriate for the character in that moment. Maggie actress Cohan then said she personally wanted to shoot Negan after he left her character seemingly for dead, but also confessed that it made sense for Maggie to let him live as she’s motivated by a respect for life. Reedus has now added his voice to the chorus by claiming Daryl would have shown no such mercy but instead put Negan down after his non-action on behalf of Maggie.
The upshot of all this is that The Walking Dead season 11 has walked things back a little when it comes to Negan’s redemption arc. This is particularly interesting as regards Daryl, considering that for a minute it looked like the show might make them friends (before deciding to make Negan and Carol secret co-conspirators instead). It remains to be seen if the return of bad Negan is just a set up for a later true redemption, or if Negan will fully embrace the Dark Side again. Of course The Walking Dead doesn’t want for bad guys in season 11 as it’s introduced two new antagonistic groups in The Commonwealth and The Reapers. But there’s still a chance that when all is said and done, Negan could reclaim the crown as Biggest Bad of All.