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Why Stars Of The Walking Dead Are Divided Over Negan's Redemption Arc

After more than a decade of dominating the zombie apocalypse genre, AMC's "The Walking Dead" has reached its final 24-episode season. The success of the TV show led to a popular after-show, two spin-offs (with another spin-off in the works), and multiple video games. When the show first launched the main conflict was surviving the dead. As time went on and small societies began to form, that conflict shifted to include surviving against the living.

From the Governor to the cannibals at Terminus to the Whisperers, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors endured and outlasted various villains. One of the most popular antagonists in "The Walking Dead" is Negan Smith (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the ruthless former leader of the Saviors.

Once his group unexpectedly fell to Rick's and he is captured, he was handed a life sentence to set an example to anyone who challenges or is unwilling to conform to their return to normalcy. Negan being kept alive has beem a point of contention for many characters who lost loved ones and suffered at the hands of the Saviors. With Season 11 exploring the dynamic between Negan and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan), who watched as he killed her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) in a scene that went way too far, his complicated redemption arc has become even more complicated.

What do stars of "The Walking Dead" think about redeeming such a violent villain?

Carol and Daryl on Negan's fate

In an interview with Insider, "The Walking Dead" stars Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus explained that redeeming someone with a history like Negan's is complicated for everyone, particularly Maggie. However, everyone on the show ultimately has blood on their hands.

When asked whether Negan could be redeemed or whether he should "just [be] lucky that you guys aren't bashing his brains in," McBride said that he was indeed lucky. "I think he has redeemed himself to a degree," said the actress who portrays Carol Peletier.

"I feel like he has work to do," said Reedus, who portrays Daryl Dixon. "But I feel like if there's a situation where it's all hands on deck, it's nice to have another set of hands." He pointed out that if it came down to a face-off between Negan and Maggie, though, it's likely that everyone would side with her.

Reedus, who is on a "Love Island" kick, humorously added that if Negan were on the dating reality show, "he would've been voted off the island."

Season 11 of "The Walking Dead" will premiere on AMC on Sunday, August 22.