By Dalton Ross
Updated October 21, 2016 at 03:58 PM EDT
Credit: Gene Page/AMC

We are entering Negan’s world now. And that means we will also see Negan’s world in season 7 of The Walking Dead. That’s right, we will be visiting the Sanctuary — the compound Negan and the Saviors call home — soon enough. So what can we expect to find there? And what else can we expect out of Negan after his introduction in the season 6 finale? We went to Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman for answers.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about the Sanctuary. What’s it like seeing Negan’s compound come to life on screen?

ROBERT KIRKMAN: The most exciting thing about that is, you know, it’s a completely different way of life. I mean, you’ve encountered this character in the finale in season 6, and he’s very bizarre, and you see the way people behave around him, and you see the way he interacts with his people, but nothing can really prepare you for what the way of life actually is amongst those people, and it’s really exciting to think about seeing how Rick Grimes has evolved and seeing how their people exist. It’s just absolutely completely different.

It’s a very strange environment that we’re going to be exploring, and there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns along the way. You’ve kind of seen a hint of it with the way that we introduced Dwight before his facial scaring and the fact that he was on the run and was clearly terrified when the Saviors caught up to him. But after that, he was seemingly 100 percent invested in everything that Negan was doing and was completely on Negan’s side. So you’ve seen two sides of that character that to a certain extent almost compete with each other and really don’t make a whole lot of sense. And in season 7, when we see how people live amongst Negan, all of that will start to make sense.

And obviously those of us who have read the comic know about what’s going on with his face. I’m assuming we’ll get some answers on the show to that as well soon.

We only got to see one scene of Jeffrey Dean Morgan last season as Negan. Tell me what you’ve been seeing from him now that you’ve got more footage to watch. How are you feeling about him as Negan and his interpretation of that character?

I don’t know how I could be more glowing. Negan was a breath of fresh air for comic book fans when he was introduced and really is something that energized me. You know I love writing that character, and seeing him come to life and seeing him handled so well — it’s downright touching. Like it’s actually really moving to see scenes of Jeffery Dean Morgan playing this character so well, and he’s having a tremendous amount of fun with it obviously. The controversy over the cliffhanger really bugs me because that was actually overshadowing how awesome the character is that’s just been introduced.

Like, you guys should all be saying, “Oh my God, I got 15 minutes with this character and it was amazing and I’m going to see him every episode now. Like, this is crazy!” He’s not going to be in every single episode, but he’s a series regular now. He’s on the show. I mean, you’re going to get to know so much more about this guy and he’s going to be an ever-present threat that’s always going to be looming. Just having him be a part of the show is great, and Jeffery Dean Morgan is a huge part of that. I couldn’t imagine someone doing a better job with this character. It’s kind of unreal.

Check out an exclusive video of Jeffrey Dean Morgan below. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Subscribe to Entertainment Weekly now and receive a free Walking Dead tote! Click here for details.

Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

  • TV Show
  • 10
  • TV-14
  • Frank Darabont
  • AMC
stream service