We are all Negan… Especially Rick Grimes

The entire sixth season of The Walking Dead has been building up to a showdown between Rick Grimes and the ultra-bad guy  Negan. We’ve been told that Negan will be unlike any other character we’ve seen on the show.

“Negan is kind. Negan is respectful. Negan is psychotic. Negan is ruthless.”

Robert Kirkman to Entertainment Weekly

Maybe Negan’s different from other bad guys like the Governor or Gareth from Terminus. But is he really that much different from another character we see every week? Is he really much different than the man he will ultimately battle: Rick Grimes?

“We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive.”

-Rick Grimes, Season 3 Too Far Gone

Negan may prefer a barb-wired wrapped baseball bat to do his dirty work, but has Rick been any less ruthless or even psychotic? He shot his best friend, put a machete into a man’s head, choked a man to death, and even ripped a guy’s throat out with his teeth.

When Alexandria was running out of food, Rick had little problem turning his group into mercenaries swapping a slaughter for half the Hilltop’s supplies.

“The Saviors, they’re scary but… this prick’s got nothing on you.”

-Andy from Hilltop to Rick Grimes, Season 6 Not Tomorrow Yet

Andy would probably know better than anyone about the difference between Rick and Negan. He was the Hilltop’s delivery boy dealing directly with Negan and was there as Rick plotted an attack to murder a group of people in their sleep (and punch a severed head in the face).

Even Kirkman admits there are a lot of similarities between Rick and Negan.

This is a guy who, much like Rick, has survived through horrendous things and has developed a system, a way of life, that works for him.”

Robert Kirkman to Entertainment Weekly

But maybe there’s still hope for Rick as Kirkman also points out a distinct difference between Rick and Negan.

“…this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality…”

Robert Kirkman to Entertainment Weekly

Rick has indeed shown there’s a sliver of humanity left in him and maybe that’s enough of a difference to keep him from proving that “we are all Negan”.

Justin Chechourka
Justin Chechourka
By day, I am the Multimedia Manager for a major infrastructure project. By night, I am a sports loving, pop culture addicted, craft beer swirling, technology enhanced father of 3 small super heroes. I was a TV news producer for nearly 15 years, but I have a passion for writing. It’s a passion that is only matched by what my wife calls my uncanny ability to maintain a brain full of (mostly useless) facts about sports, beer and comic book-based movies & TV.