What The Walking Dead Fans Never Noticed About Negan

Across its impressive 11 season run, that will conclude in 2021, AMC's The Walking Dead has more than proved its worth as one of the defining television programs of the 2010s. Through its post-apocalyptic premise, host of memorable characters, and thorough world-building, it has attracted fans from all walks of life, who helped make it a pop culture cornerstone. Of course, as the series reaches its finale, many are taking a walk down memory lane and rewatching the series to freshen up on their Walking Dead knowledge. As they continue along, viewers are picking up on some small but no less thought-provoking details hidden in plain sight.

One example that's stirring up speculation from Walking Dead fans revolves around villain turned anti-hero, Negan, as portrayed by partial candy shop owner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Introduced on the show's season 6 finale, the leader of the Saviors faction quickly rose through the ranks to become one of Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) most devious adversaries, dwarfing the likes of the Governor (David Morrissey) and the Wolves. Still, as time went on, he slowly started to redeem himself in the eyes of his former enemies, turning him from a ruthless antagonist into something resembling an ally. In the process, he's also revealed quite a bit about who he is, and where he came from ... but one minute detail still bothers some viewers.

Is Negan his first name, last name, or a nickname?

The fine folks in the Walking Dead Reddit community brought up this question, specifically, user o1pickleboy, who pondered "I am a bit confused on if Negan is a first or last name. Has it ever been revealed what Negan's full name is or what part of his name it is?" In response, one user suggested that he'd actually known someone with the first name Negan, while yet another user, LiteralTP, suggested Negan just had very "alternative" parents. 

On the program, Negan is always referred to as Negan, with no elaboration on whether it's his first or last name he's using. It's not super important in the grand scheme of the story, but it's no less interesting to think about.

Thankfully, for those wracking their brains to try and make sense of his name, a few years ago they received an answer directly from the source. Back in 2018, Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman took part in a panel on that year's Walker Stalker Cruise, alongside Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, where a fan asked the very same question. In response, Kirkman revealed that "I just think it's funny to not give characters last names because, I don't know, it's interesting to me."

To elaborate on his answer, he also mentioned that he's not a fan of attempting to sort out two-part names for his characters. "...when I'm at home and I'm writing, I'm like, 'I'm not doing this,' because you gotta come up with a list of names and then pick one and it's never interesting," Kirkman said, citing his disdain for such a formulaic process as the reason why Negan doesn't have a complete moniker. So yes, Negan is a first name, but no, his last name has not been revealed. Naturally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan made sure to chime in as well, saying definitely that "It's like Madonna, Cher, and Negan," thus confirming that he wears his character's lack of surname as a badge of honor.