The animosity between Maggie and Negan reached fever pitch in the opening two-parter of The Walking Dead season 11, and yet somehow the storyline ended with the old enemies forming an unexpected truce. In “Acheron, Part 1”, Negan callously left Maggie for dead after she threatened to kill him. When she was revealed to have survived in “Acheron, Part 2”, a furious Maggie almost followed through with her threat. But with the survivors trapped in a zombie-filled subway tunnel, the pair’s only option was to hold the hostilities and work together.
When things get tough, Maggie makes a surprising move by handing Negan her gun, entrusting him to help get the trapped survivors to safety. After the danger’s passed, Negan returns the gun to Maggie – after a moment’s hesitation – and he agrees to continue to guide the group on their quest to take back Meridian from the Reapers and reclaim Alexandria. After nearly killing each other, the duo have now reached an unexpected truce and seemingly a mutual trust.
While speaking about the development on Talking Dead, Negan star Jeffrey Dean Morgan explained his thoughts on where Maggie’s headspace is at right now, summing it up as “she hates him but needs him.”
“Did she look at him because ‘I’m gonna give you a gun and you might shoot me?’ I don’t know, but Negan looks at her and says, ‘Give me the gun so I can go take care of the walkers that are coming up our six,’” Morgan said. “Maggie hates Negan, that’s it. Maggie wants him dead. Unfortunately for her, the only out, the only way that she’s going to survive certain situations is if she lets Negan into the fold. It’s as simple as that… What it is, is kind of what it is,” the Negan actor added. “She hates him but needs him.”
Maggie actress Lauren Cohan then offered her own differing perspective on events from Morgan, countering:
“It’s interesting how Jeff said there ‘Negan tells her he needs that gun.’” Cohan said. “Maggie decided that she was better off and trusted him in that moment and decided to give him the gun. It can be whatever Jeff wants it to be, but that’s what really happened (laughs).”
Following Maggie’s return at the tail-end of season 10, the big question about where the character goes from here is how will she ultimately handle her hatred of Negan and deal with the trauma of Glenn’s death. At this point, she’s paused her feud with the former Savior leader, but once the Reapers are bested, this agreement will be over and they’ll no doubt turn against each other again. Of course, then the threat of the Commonwealth will emerge, so they might need to team up again.
The Walking Dead season 11 continues this Sunday night with its third episode, “Hunted”2, which promises to be another Maggie/Negan-centric installment.