'The Walking Dead'
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in ‘The Walking Dead’ TV series. The Walking Dead/AMC

There was a time jump in “The Walking Dead” season 9 premiere episode, with people moving on from the war. One surprise was that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was missing. The new executive producer explained the decision not to feature this character while speaking in the “Talking Dead” show.

The new Showrunner Angela Kang had good reason to keep Negan out of the premiere episode. Even though the villainous character was never seen on screen, his presence was felt in Alexandria.

In the “Talking Dead” show, which is based on the episodes of the zombie TV series, Kang explained that the previous season was driven by the Negan storyline, ComicBook.com reports. Now, a year and a half later, people are trying to move on.

Negan is very much alive, and he’s locked away in a dungeon in Alexandria. For the people living there, he has become this monster that lives on and has risen to a Voldemort-like status with people fearing to even take his name.

“And so it’s like we’re trying to see the people in a world without Negan, except that Negan hangs over all the proceedings. There’s all these scenes where they don’t even say Negan, but it’s about Negan,” Kang said.

The trailers of season 9 have already teased Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) going down to the cell and talking to Negan from time to time. Even though the people are trying to move on and rebuild, Negan believes that they are just getting things ready for his eventual return.

Kang had previously teased that both Rick and Negan feel like dinosaurs after the war. Rick will be busy trying to figure out what the next mission will be, and he will go to meet his enemy to partly gloat about his success.

The next episode is titled “The Bridge,” and the plot will focus on the building of a bridge to facilitate trade and communication between the communities.