Isle of the Dead Brings Surprises and Familiarity

A promo poster for teh show

A promo poster for teh show

Jade Baxendale, Editor-in-Chief

On March 7, yet another spin-off of the AMC hit series The Walking Dead was announced. Since the Walking Dead universe was developed on the small screen, many spin-offs have found success such as Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Other things have been planned for some time now such as a Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) spin-off show and movies for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Now we have a new show announcement and the duo featured is surprising yet ironic at the same time.

When a show for Daryl and Carol was announced, there was no surprise that the duo would go off and have their own stories. The two have been extremely close since the death of Carol’s daughter all the way back in season two. They have also talked about leaving the group before, so it makes sense for them to carry through with that. On the contrary, the new spin-off announced, Isle of the Dead, features two polar opposites: Maggie and Negan.

Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan)

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has been the main character of the show since season two when the main group met her family at a Walking Dead location known as The Farm. She stayed with the group even after the fall of The Farm and fell in love with one of their own, Glenn Rhee. The two of them got married and had a child before his death. Since then Maggie has left the show but came back for the final season.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on the other hand is widely regarded as the greatest antagonist in The Walking Dead. After being introduced in season 6 as the leader of a rival group called the Saviors, he has won over fans heart’s (somehow) with his brutality and twistedness (and soft spot for children). Since the fall of the Saviors, Negan has had a semi-redemption arc, but he still remains a morally grey character.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)

The connection between this unlikely duo: Negan killed Maggie’s husband. Because of this, while others have forgiven Negan for his actions, Maggie has a special kind of hatred for him. In the final season of The Walking Dead, the show has explored the tension between them as they betray each other left and right but still come together to achieve a common goal. It will be interesting to see how these two find themselves teamed up in this new spin-off.

Although it’s exciting to see the universe expand and persist even with the ending of the original series, there are some downsides to the spin-off announcements. For one, part of what makes The Walking Dead so exciting and compelling is that any character can die at any time. Even being the main character doesn’t keep you safe from being beaten to death by Negan’s precious bat Lucille, or turning into one of the brainless walkers the show is based upon. However, these announcements give certain characters a kind of “immunity” to death. We now know that Daryl, Carol, Negan, and Maggie face no real peril in the final season of The Walking Dead. It’s almost as if the creators have spoiled their own show. This takes away from much of the suspense, fear, and excitement of what’s meant to be the epic final season.

But then again it is a little relieving to know our favorite characters will continue to have new adventures in the world of The Walking Dead.