If you thought Sunday's explosively gruesome mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead was insane, then you're in for a wildly bloody ride.
Season six of AMC's post-apocalyptic drama is proving to be the series' most intense and shocking one yet. And, with the impending introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the nefarious comic book villain, Negan, things for Rick, Daryl and the rest of our favorite survivors are only going to get worse.
To help get you prepared for all the psychological trauma headed our way, ETonline recently sat down with The Walking Dead's executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, to get the exclusive scoop on why Negan is the most "complex and charismatic villain" of the entire series.
Plus, someone is definitely going to be facing "Lucille," Negan's horrific baseball bat covered in barbed wire -- get the scoop!
With the introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the iconic villain Negan, what does this mean for our core group of characters?
Gale Anne Hurd: It's a larger world. And by the way you could not imagine a better person to bring Negan to life. I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan is one of the best actors on television, and if you know the Negan character he is charming, he knows what he wants and how to get it.
For those who are not familiar with the comic books, how would you describe Negan?
GAH: Negan is probably the most dynamic, complex and charismatic villain, but at the same time he is human. He feels sorry that you've encountered him and he genuinely does feel like, 'It's really your worst day that you ran into me.' And he actually really believes it! So the self-knowledge that he has is unlike any other character. I think that The Governor was in denial about who he was. He really thought that he was a good guy, but that's not Negan.
So he's a master manipulator?
GAH: Negan knows who he is and what he needs to do to survive, and this world is the perfect world for him. It was almost like created for him. He's not somebody who probably would have never have gotten to where he is in the old world and playing by the old rules.
This season, Rick was just finally starting to look at Carl as an adult. How is that new father-son dynamic going evolve as we move into this new world with Negan?
GAH: It's about time, isn't it? The risks are greater. No matter how well prepared you are for this world, you're not because the stakes have just been raised to a new level. Anyone who knows Negan knows that it's going to get really complicated.
Comic book fans know that Negan is responsible for the deaths of many of our favorite characters. Is this on-screen version going to be just as murderous?
GAH: Someone is going to facing Lucille. If you don't know what Lucille is, it's what he names his [barbed wire-covered] bat. So yes, at some point, someone is going to be facing Lucille.
As we move into Negan's world and the second half of season six, what should fans know before tuning in?
GAH: They're likely to probably need some psychological counseling afterwards, so I'd line that up.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
How do you feel about Negan's impending introduction? Who do you think is going to face Lucile this season? Share your zombie-loving thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!