Is Peace Even Possible on 'The Walking Dead'?

Is Peace Even Possible on 'The Walking Dead'?

In "Worth," we learn what Carl wrote in the letters to Negan and Rick. And in both of them, he talks about peace. He wants his father to offer peace to Negan, and he urges Negan to accept that peace offering. But is peace really achievable at this point on The Walking Dead, when both Rick and Negan want to kill each other?

An Eye for a Eye

Negan's philosophy has always been that he saves people. Those he kills often get in the way, or they've betrayed him. Or the deaths are used as leverage to get others to fall in line. At the beginning, his intention wasn't to kill Rick. In fact, he just wanted him to fall in line with the rest of the communities. Negan killed Abraham and Glenn to scare Rick, and to get back at him for taking out an entire outpost full of Saviors. Sure, Negan may have a screw or two loose, but the deals he worked out with the Kingdom and Hilltop were working.

When Rick came along, he messed that all up. He managed to get both communities on board with taking down Negan. He asked them to fight a fight that only he should be fighting. Rick had beef with Negan for killing Glenn and Abraham, and he convinced Ezekiel to join the fight. He did try talking to Gregory, but Gregory is useless and only out for himself. But the Alexandrians did manage to take over the Hilltop after their community was devastated by Negan.

So, now it seems that it's an eye for an eye situation. Rick kills Saviors, Negan kills Rick's people. It's a constant back and forth, with no man backing down. In "Worth," we find out what Eugene and Gabriel have been up to, a good reminder that Negan does have them as bargaining chips. Rick doesn't have any bargaining chips, as all of the Saviors escaped. But will it matter to Rick? If Negan kills Eugene or Gabriel (though I don't think he'd kill Eugene), Rick will just take it as a sign to keep fighting and killing Saviors. And that peace offering won't even be extended.

It's All About Ego

At this point, I honestly believe the Rick/Negan war is an ego thing. If we put all the killing aside, it seems to be two guys in charge who just don't see eye to eye and won't back down.

Negan offered Rick a deal a few episodes back when they were fighting in the abandoned building. Rick didn't take it. Rick is too stubborn to realize his own mistakes. The fact that Rick keeps killing and keeps antagonizing Negan only makes Negan angrier. So, even if Rick has a change of heart and offers a peace deal to Negan, he probably won't take it.

Their egos are way too big for either to back down. And quite frankly, neither can be trusted. I imagine if one offers a peace deal, and the other actually takes it, that one of them will go back on their word and another war would break out.

How Can Peace Be Achieved?

The way I see it, either Rick or Negan needs to die in order for the war to end. It's that or television series mirrors the novels and Rick captures Negan and holds him in "jail." I would rather see Negan survive, because I find his character way more interesting than Rick at this point on The Walking Dead.

Even if one kills the other, or one captures the other, though, I imagine it will take time for the communities to fall in line and pick up the pieces. It's going to take a while before any community can work toward the future that Carl so desperately begs for in his letters. But ultimately, Carl is right. The bright future needs to start not only with ending the war, but with cooperation among the groups. As I said, I think Negan's way of working with the communities is a start, but the dictatorship needs to be eliminated, and all communities need to pull their weight and contribute equally. Trade, barter, work together for a common goal. This is the way to achieve peace on The Walking Dead. It's just going to be very hard to convince Rick and Negan of this.

Do you think peace is achievable on the Walking Dead? Who do you think will back down first? Will the war end with the death of either Rick or Negan? Will Negan and Rick ever make a fair peace deal? Let us know in the comments below.

The season 8 finale of The Walking Dead airs Sunday, April 15 at 9/8c on AMC.

(Image courtesy of AMC)


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