Like many villains who have made their mark on the comic book landscape, Negan from The Walking Dead comes complete with catchphrases and accessories. He's like a Manic Pixie Dream Villain: unpredictable and chaotic with a sick sense of humor that could make any fanboy's heart flutter. So like any quirky villain worth his salt, Negan has own distinct idiosyncrasies, like his beloved weapon of choice: a barbed wire-wrapped bat he has christened Lucille. But there has to be a method to the madness, right? Why did Negan name his bat Lucille on The Walking Dead?
The answer comes from a comic series called Here's Negan that explored his backstory, particularly his life leading up to the zombie outbreak that brought an end to the world as everyone knew it. Before he was the man leading the Saviors, Negan was a school coach who almost lost his job for cursing out his students. He also regularly cheated on his wife and only ended things with his mistress once his wife was diagnosed with cancer, after which he spent every day by her bedside while she slowly got worse in the hospital. Soon after the outbreak, she died and turned, giving Negan his first introduction to the world as he now knows it. Upon seeing her, he just said one thing — her name, Lucille.
The fact that Negan named his favorite item of destruction after his dead wife says a lot about him, but none of it is positive. Is it some strange coping mechanism? Does he feel he's honoring her by doing this and keeping some fragment of his wife close to him even after everything? Or is he just a psychopath with a twisted way of expressing affection? To be honest, my money's on that last one.
Negan is a character who purports to have a sense of honor; he lives by rules, even if they're insane rules of his own devising, and he has a code of sorts that he doesn't violate. I suspect that this faux sense of honor is meant to be reflected in the bedside vigil he keeps for his dying wife, but don't wipe away a solitary tear for Negan just yet. He may have stepped up at the last possible second during his wife's illness, but he was still cheating on her for who knows how long. He still had zero boundaries with the children he coached, whose care he was charged with. He still has killed countless people and laughed about it.
Just look at the way he decided to hold onto his wife's memory. A serial killer naming their favorite instrument of torture after a person they used to love doesn't reveal hidden tragic depths. He can be funny, he can have a layer or two, but Negan is still an immoral bully who only cares about himself.