As Maggie returns to The Walking Dead, she may struggle with her commitment to living Glenn’s legacy — especially if it means accepting his killer.
It was happy news that Lauren Cohen would be returning to The Walking Dead season 11 as a series regular, and that Maggie would be rejoining the survivors. But a lot has changed while Maggie’s been off raising Hershel and working with Georgie — and according to The Walking Dead showrunner, Angela Kang, it’s “not going to be an easy road” for Maggie and Negan moving forward.
Talking about Maggie’s return at the show’s Comic-Con@Home panel, Kang said that Maggie is definitely coming home for good, not just visiting, and that she and Negan will have to figure out how they’re going to coexist. She also mentioned that Maggie hasn’t been around to see Negan’s redemption, so she’s going to have a different perspective on Negan than some of the others.
You can watch the full The Walking Dead Comic-Con@Home panel here:
There’s no question that Negan has proved to be an asset to the group. He saved Judith and Dog from the snowstorm. He saved Lydia when she was being assaulted at Alexandria. And when Carol let him out of his cell, he played the long game to put himself in a position to kill Alpha. He’s undoubtedly contributed to the survival of the group, but is that enough to make up for killing Glenn and Abraham and so many others? Maggie might not think so.
Before she left the Hilltop with Hershel Maggie did go to confront and kill Negan, although she ended up changing her mind. Glenn’s ideals — and her own sense of right and wrong influenced by
Hershel — convinced her that, for someone like Negan, living in a cage forgotten by everyone with no audience to dote on him was a punishment worse than death. She made her peace with that.
But now Negan is free, and part of the group. Maggie’s going to struggle with her desire for her revenge, her grief, and her commitment to upholding Glenn’s legacy. In her speech to Rick at the end of “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Maggie talked about Glenn’s commitment to helping people and how it was his influence that made her decide to bring the Hilltop fighters to help Alexandria fight the Saviors.
Glenn’s influence would also tell her in this situation to make room for the possibility that Negan could have changed, but she won’t want to accept that. Glenn always gave people the benefit of the doubt, even after they had done horrible things, and Glenn put into action the idea that, ultimately, the only fight that mattered was the living versus the dead.
Glenn showed over and over again his commitment to preserving life and accepting people’s ability to change. He wasn’t happy about Merle being at the prison, but he accepted it. He saved Tara’s life, even though she was in the Governor’s army that attacked the prison and killed Hershel. He tried to save Spencer. He didn’t kill Nicholas, even though Nicholas repeatedly tried to kill him. Glenn believed in redemption. And if Maggie is truly going to live Glenn’s legacy and model Glenn’s ideals, she will have to find a way to accept Negan. After all, no one’s hands are clean on The Walking Dead.