Should Negan have killed Rick and his group? First…Let me say this…if, after everything, Negan still believes that he should have just killed everyone in season 7, then he didn’t really learn anything while being imprisoned in Alexandria by Rick and the group other than he wants to be in power and have control. Moreover, Maggie should have simply killed him back when he was in prison, but she didn’t and let him live. Negan has had a chance to redeem himself. He had a chance to give Rick’s group a try.
Negan has had YEARS of living amongst them. He’s seen their fights, he’s seen how they get along. He’s seen and lived it for many years now. He know what they’re about. And he STILL believes he should have simply killed everyone in Rick’s group?
After all that? After all the fighting. After all the PEACE Alexandria had. After everything they went through. After all the cooperation. After all, the “FAMILY”. After all the trying to be good and building a better, safer, more peaceful world. Negan still believes he simply should have killed Rick and his group back in season 7?
This means that Negan hasn’t changed. That he’s simply biding his time. That he’s just waiting for the right moment. That he’s just doing whatever he has to do to stay alive until he has a chance to gain power again. Because that’s what this is about for him. His comment to Maggie is proof that he has not changed. Yes, it’s HONEST. Yes, he’s part of a group now. But what’s clearly most important to him is control. He’s not in control. He doesn’t like it. The Saviors were destroyed and I think he still holds animosity towards Maggie and Rick and everyone else for it. Also…this sets things up maybe for a final Rick and Negan fight? I don’t know, I haven’t read the comics, and the show is not sticking to the continuity of the comics anyway. Negan might be “honest”, but he is still a bad guy. He’s not a nice guy. Neither is Rick. But I think Rick is at least a good man at heart. Negan on the other hand is not good. He’s a bad guy with good guy tendencies, sometimes. Rick is a good guy with bad guy tendencies.
Should Negan have killed everyone? Maybe…if his goal was power and control and to be in charge, then yes. Killing Rick and his group would have accomplished that goal. But…what then? Negan would have eventually run across other groups, and eventually the Commonwealth. Would Negan have attacked the Commonwealth? I think he would. I think he would have walked through the Whisperers like they were nothing too. He wouldn’t have played their game and would have killed Alpha and Beta at the first chance he got. Which leaves the Commonwealth and the Reapers. Which, knowing Negan, he’d wipe out the Reapers very quickly as he would have clearly had them outnumbered and outgunned IF he had already killed Rick and his group. Pope and the Reapers would not have stood a chance against the Saviors. With each of those victories would make Negan and the Saviors much stronger, and perhaps strong enough to go up against the Commonwealth.
Though, we don’t really know how large the Commonwealth is. It’s not just one community, it’s a group of communities. Here’s the thing though. Negan would not have the manpower or firepower to take on the Commonwealth in direct attack. but, that’s not how Negan operates. He sneaks around, and he’s a great strategist. He is a good general and he would know he could not win in direct conflict against the Commonwealth. So he’d realize he would have to do something else to win against a well armed well trained army/community like the Commonwealth. This is where Rick failed with going up against Negan; if you remember, Rick attacked the single outpost of Negan’s group without really knowing the size of the force he was fighting. It was an intelligence mistake and a fatal one for a few in Rick’s group. Rick’s people paid the price of that mistake. The mistake was not having intelligence on the force they attacked. They didn’t know the numbers of fighters or how they were armed. They barely even had any info about the layout of the building and that was from a captured enemy soldier which should never be relied upon to launch an offensive attack against an unknown force. That’s just stupid. And Rick’s people paid dearly for that mistake.
Negan on the other hand I think would be more tactical about attacking the Commonwealth. He’d see their forces and armaments as an opportunity and would make plans to attack the weakest part and seize food and weapons and if possible facilities and territory. At the very least he could carry out guerilla attacks on them at different locations, killing as many Commonwealth soldiers as possible and retreating. Hit them then fade away into the dark. Hit them again and fade away again. Each time hitting targets that weaken their defenses and undermine their morale. Slowly killing their will to fight. I think he’d kill their leaders and strongest first. Then threaten the others with death if they don’t join him. Send in their own people against the rest of the Commonwealth, holding some of their loved ones as leverage to make them fight. Pretty simple strategy really. This would wear down the Commonwealth forces. Negan might even send in some of his people as spies and infiltrate their systems.
He’d certainly send in captured Commonwealth citizens as spies while holding their loved ones hostage as leverage. This would give him eyes and ears INSIDE the Commonwealth and valuable intelligence that would give him the information he needs to carry out further attacks to further weaken the Commonwealth’s forces. Taking out their communications would be the first thing, capturing their transport and weapons/ammo would be a priority. Capturing their leaders and taking their food and disrupting their supply lines goes a long way to defeating a stronger, more organized enemy.
These are all tactics I think Negan would employ to slowly wear down the Commonwealth, and with a little luck I think he could defeat them eventually making himself their leader once they surrendered. I think Negan and the Saviors could defeat just about any force…and his biggest mistake (if his goal was to stay in power) was to let Rick and his group live. Rick defeated Negan because Rick and his group were “good people” forced to do bad things. Negan forced some of his group to do bad things, but…most of Negan’s Saviors were bad people to begin with, and Negan knew this, everyone knew this.
The percentage of good people in Negan’s group was small compared to the percentage of good people in Rick’s group. The question is what was the main goal of either group? Peace or power? In Negan’s group I think the goal was power. In Rick’s group the goal was peace. This is what it comes down to. Peace or power. I don’t think it’s possible to have one without the other and that’s where the rub is.
You can’t expect to have peace if you have no power, and you can’t have real power without peace for your people or they’ll overthrow you. You have to have a balance between the two. The people need to have a certain amount of power, not a top down hierarchy. Not a monarchy. A democracy. This is about a fight for democracy and equality and fairness on Rick’s side, and a top down hierarchical power structure on Negan’s side.
Negan’s Saviors didn’t care about equality, and Rick’s people didn’t care about power. Rick was right…but so is Negan. They both have valid arguments. They both have good points and knowledge to bring to the table. But I think it comes down to the people and peace. You can’t have peace if your people live in fear. That’s NOT peaceful. Fear is not peaceful. Fear is a disturbance of peace. Fear disturbs the peace of the people and that is the environment Negan thrived in.
Negan is ultimately evil. But he’s a survivor in a harsh world. Rick is also a survivor and he survives in a different way. Both Negan’s and Rick’s methods work.
It’s not an either or until you get to the end goal, the end game. Which is better? An equal peaceful fearless society or a society that lives in fear that’s forced to live for their leaders? Negan is ultimately evil. Rick is ultimately good. Rick’s path was more difficult than Negan’s path.
The journey is part of the destination. Negan is a “The end justifies the means” kind of villain.
Rick is a “The means makes the end and the man worthy” kind of hero.
Rick’s way is more equal, fair, democratic and creates order in the midst of chaos through peace.
Having said all that, should Negan have killed everyone? If his primary mission goal is power, then yeah. And he just admitted it. Which opens up a wound long festering between Negan and Maggie.
Which I think is going to lead to a final endgame fight between him and Maggie.
What do you think?