The Walking Dead's Negan Kill Recreates Jesus' Death

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 11 part 1 finale.

The Walking Dead part 1 finale shows the Survivors taking a few tactics from the Whisperers' book—but one Negan kill eerily mirrors Jesus' death in season 9. As Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Maggie, Elijah, and Gabriel prepare to reclaim what Pope stole from Meridian with their own walker horde, Negan has been able to show off everything he learned during his time with the Whisperers. Of everything he's learned, this killing method may prove the most useful—and the most deadly.

Alpha may not have been a good person, but there is no denying that her Whisperer tactics were brutally efficient. Blending in with the dead allowed her people to safely travel through walkers and even herd them, but it also made them a lethal weapon against unsuspecting humans. This cunning battle tactic is what brought Jesus (Tom Payne) to his early end. In the Walking Dead season 9 midseason finale, "Evolution," some of the Survivors are surrounded in a foggy cemetery by a group of walkers, which Eugene claims have evolved. What started as routine walker killings proves fatal for Jesus when one of the walkers unexpectedly pulls a weapon on him, using the element of surprise to drive his weapon through Jesus' back. While Jesus fought beautifully in this scene, there was little he could have done to counter this attack.

Related: Walking Dead Shows That Abraham Would Finally Be Proud Of Eugene

Negan's kill at the beginning of The Walking Dead season 11 episode 8, "For Blood," heavily mirrors the tactic used to kill Jesus. While leading their horde of walkers to the gates of Meridian, Negan and Maggie encounter Wells, who is attempting to guide the horde away from their community. The attack is precise: Negan dodges Wells' blow, delivers one of his own, and then disappears into the camouflage of the horde once more, leaving him dazed and confused. This momentary confusion allowed Maggie to get her own quick stab in before the dead finish him off. This trick has the same mechanics as the one that killed Jesus—a sudden dodge and a quick stab that takes advantage of the victim's surprise. The method does require the attacker to incur some level of risk, but when used correctly it can be beautifully efficient.

This kill is tangible proof that Negan picked up quite a bit from Alpha and the Whisperers in his brief time with them. Negan wasn't present at Jesus's death, so this tactic is most likely something that the Whisperers train their people in. Beyond allowing him to kill Alpha, Negan's time with the group is continuing to prove useful. He has been able to create their signature skin masks, herd the walkers, and teach the others while leading an assault on Meridian. Though the Whisperers may have been disbanded, their methods are given new life with Negan and the Survivors.

This moment is also a continuation of Maggie and Negan's blossoming teamwork. The pair will likely never see eye to eye—especially after Negan's revelation in the previous episode—but this kill further proves they can be deadly when they combine forces. This crusade may at least help the two stop attempting to kill each other at every turn, assuming they both survive. Working together, Negan and Maggie could become one of the most formidable duos that The Walking Dead has to offer.

Next: The Walking Dead Season 11 Part 1 Ending Explained: What Happens Next?

The Walking Dead season 11 part 2 premieres on February 20, 2022 on AMC and one week early on AMC+.

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