The Walking Dead has been on long enough for fans to see all kinds of partnerships. There have been buddy comedy moments (see Rick and Daryl scavenging for food, only to find Jesus and sink the truck in a lake), partnerships (recently, think Gabriel and Aaron in 10C) and groups coming together to fight for the common good (the All Out War story). For the newly-announced Isle of the Dead to work, it’s more interesting to think of a series where the two main characters don’t get along at all.
Let’s not mince words here. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) don’t like each other. They hate each other. They have no reason to be friends.
Negan murdered Maggie’s husband and that’s a crime that will never be forgotten.
However, imagine a threat so great that two enemies were forced to come together to fight it.
That’s where my money lies with the fifth spinoff in The Walking Dead Universe, coming in 2023. I don’t think Maggie and Negan will ever be friends, but I do believe that they are smart enough to know that they’re both capable fighters with very strong survival instincts. Together, when the odds are stacked against them, they would make a formidable team.
We’re only hours into the announcement that Isle of the Dead is going to be a thing, so there is no information available aside from Cohan and Morgan being executive producers on the project.
While speculation runs rampant, it’s important to remember that there is zero reason to believe that AMC is trying to force Maggie and Negan to be friends. Not only is it not likely or believable, but it just doesn’t make sense.
What does make sense, however, is that both Maggie and Negan will both do whatever it takes to survive. And if Maggie’s son Herschel is in danger, you can bet she’ll team up with anyone she has to in order to save him.
So what could possibly lead them to apocalyptic Manhattan?
Well, given that Isle of the Dead is a spinoff set in the expanded TWD Universe, it’s possible that a threat from the CRM has driven them to New York, which is home to the CRM’s research facility as seen on TWD: World Beyond. Perhaps something happens to Hershel and Maggie heads out to find him, and she encounters Negan on the way. Though she has no reason to trust him, there’s no question that she would enlist Negan’s help if the situation called for it. (And let’s face it, she wouldn’t hesitate to make him a pawn if need be)
On the other hand, Negan has changed a lot. While he has no reason to trust Maggie, he’s very good at making sure he survives, even if it means working with someone who would rather see him dead.
I honestly don’t think AMC has plans to force Maggie and Negan to be friends, nor do I think they need to be friends to have a successful series. And that’s precisely why I’m so excited for Isle of the Dead. As a fan, I love not knowing how the pieces will come together. Once The Walking Dead ends later this year, we’re all in uncharted water with no roadmap. Comic book canon is out the door and anything can happen…even two mortal enemies working together to stay alive.
What do YOU think about Isle of the Dead? Let me know in the comments!