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The Walking Dead boss breaks down Negan's surprise twist

Who saw this coming?

The Walking Dead spoilers for season 11, episode 14 follow.

The Walking Dead's latest episode 'The Rotten Core' gave us some more twists in Negan's overarching story, as he continues his journey from the show's big bad to one of our main protagonists.

In the episode, we learned that Negan was not only married to a woman named Annie (Medina Senghore) but also that Annie was pregnant — yup, Negan is (hopefully) going to be a dad.

In a poetic twist, he was later confronted by Hershel: the son of Glenn Rhee, who Negan famously killed in brutal fashion. Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller) pulled a gun on his dad's killer, but Negan managed to talk him down and told him to wait until he was an adult before seeking him out again.

jeffrey dean morgan as negan, the walking dead, season 11
Josh Stringer/AMC

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Does Negan expect their future confrontation to be them talking it out like grown-ups, or is he doing a Kill Bill and expecting Hershel to kill him when he's old enough to do so?

"I think what he means is any of the above," showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly. "I think he wants the kid to have a chance to grow up and be a child, and if he still feels the same way 10, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, then he has the right to come after him and try to kill him.

"Or maybe they get to shake hands and talk it out like men, but he just doesn't think it's fair to put the burden of avenging your father on somebody who's still, his hands are too small to even hold the gun properly."

Delving deeper into Negan's psyche, Kang explained: "When it comes to kids, that is one of the areas where Negan actually can be just purely altruistic and heroic. That's also just something that is an established part of his character, he does admire children."

jeffrey dean morgan as negan, the walking dead season 11
AMC

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She continued: "As somebody who used to be a teacher, he really sees nothing but promise in children.

"He feels like there is a goodness and a purity to them that is lost by the time that they're often adults. But I think as long as they're kids, all he sees is somebody that needs to be protected."

Will Hershel put aside his quest for revenge for now? Will Negan become a father? Is the show setting up a scenario where Negan ends up adopting Hershel? We'll see how it plays out, especially with the news that Negan will be featured in a newly-announced spin-off.

The Walking Dead season 11 airs on AMC in the US and STAR on Disney+ in the UK.

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