This Sunday brings the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, AMC’s wildly popular zombie drama, and with it comes the arrival of perhaps the most-anticipated new character in the show’s history. Over the past several episodes, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew have been engaged in a struggle with a mysterious and ruthless group known as “The Saviors,” and though we’ve met pleny of them, we haven’t met their leader. We only have his name: Negan.
As fans of The Walking Dead comic book series know all too well, Negan is the most ruthless and psychologically dangerous man our survivors have come across in more than 100 issues. He rules over The Saviors with a charisma (before the apocalypse, he sold used cars) and brutality befitting that of a cult leader, using his power and influence to pull other survivor groups into the fold and bend them to his will. Whenever Negan and his Saviors find a new community, they make a simple deal: You give us half your stuff, and we protect you from zombies. If you fail to live up to this deal, there are swift and violent consequences, often delivered by Negan’s barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille.
In the above teaser for next week’s finale, “Last Day on Earth,” we don’t see all of Negan (played by the always great Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but we see enough to get chills: A leather jacket-clad man with an imposing frame, standing before a kneeling figure, a little glimpse of Lucille, and the words “Hi, I’m Negan.” It’s quite likely that whoever’s kneeling before him is about to meet the business end of Lucille, and they won’t be walking away. As for who that is…well, fan theories abound, but we won’t know for sure until Sunday.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9/8C on AMC.