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Why The Walking Dead Season 11 Premiere Had Jeffrey Dean Morgan Fighting The Writers

Contains spoilers for Season 11, Episode 1 of "The Walking Dead."

For the past 10 seasons, "The Walking Dead" has taken fans on an intense action-packed journey — and the newest season is sure to be more of the same. The eleventh and final season just aired, and the ending of the first episode has fans talking, especially because of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) big moment.

Season 11, Episode 1 follows the group of Alexandrians — led by Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) — as they go on a perilous mission to secure military rations. Unfortunately, they end up trapped in a creepy abandoned subway system, where tensions in the group rise. The main source of the tension, of course, is Maggie's distrust of Negan, who murdered her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) a few seasons earlier. Eventually, the Alexandrians run into walkers, who force the group to take shelter on a subway car. Negan is the last one onto the train car before Maggie, and when she needs his help — he rebuffs her, presumably leaving her for dead.

The shocking episode has fans in a tizzy both because of Maggie's unclear fate as well as a certain line that Negan delivers right before the climactic ending.

Negan's low blow

Even Jeffrey Dean Morgan had some strong opinions about his character's actions in the Season 11 premiere. According to a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Morgan fought "The Walking Dead" showrunner and writers over that low blow his character deals Maggie. A few scenes before the group is surrounded by walkers, Negan argues with Maggie and the rest of the Alexandrians about continuing their journey through the tunnel, which he feels isn't worth the danger.

Their discussion turns personal as Negan accuses Maggie of being too preoccupied with revenge to be an effective leader, and declares he knows she's waiting for the right moment to kill him. He then delivers the devastating line: "Me dying on your terms? It ain't happening. So what do you say? Let's just get her done, right here, right now. Because I am not going to let you drag me through the mud, filth, and slime to put me down like a dog — like Glenn was."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn't want to bring Glenn up

Thankfully, Morgan isn't anything like his on-screen persona in real life, and had some issues with directly referring to Glenn in such a brutal way. He explained to EW, "I fought it! That's the one line that I immediately called [showrunner Angela Kang] and I was like, 'I can't say it. I can't f—ing bring up Glenn's name here.' And I was like, 'Any goodwill that Negan has gotten on his side is going to go out the window the minute I say Glenn.' I tried to nix the line completely. I didn't think it was necessary. And I thought, for sure, they would let me change it. And so I filmed it three or four different ways. I tried everything else. I said, 'Your husband' and other stuff. But ultimately it was like, 'Well, let's just try the f—ing Glenn line.'"

Morgan did understand that the purpose of the line was to "to elicit the reaction exactly that you and I felt in seeing it," as well as to hone in on the fact that, while Negan may have changed in some ways over the years, he's still the man that killed people in cold blood.

"I always have said that regardless of what Negan does that is good, there is still that Negan inside of him," Morgan said.