Negan on The Walking Dead is many things: charismatic, ruthless, perverse, grandiose and, in the comics, clean-shaven. Not so on TV, which saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan debut as the Big Bad in the season 6 finale with a heavy five o’clock shadow. The change was even worked into the scene, with Morgan’s Negan commenting he needs a shave (ostensibly to appear more like his comic counterpart, pictured below).
The recent Comic-Con season 7 trailer showed scenes from the earliest episodes with Negan still sporting his mustache and beard. But intrepid fans, who run into the cast and crew around the filming location of Atlanta all the time, were able to catch a glimpse of Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus about town, with the former looking decidedly beard-less in the photo (courtesy of Michelle Sandiha’s Twitter account).
Shaved the beard????? pic.twitter.com/xygjlWlu11
— Michelle Sandiha (@madreeduslove) August 1, 2016
The Walking Dead should be at about the halfway point in filming the seventh season, which means this photo could come from as late as the midseason finale, slated to air this December. Season 7 sees the introduction The Kingdom, its ruler Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva, and is rumored to follow Negan’s reign of terror in the first half with the All-Out War act following in the back half. With Negan continuing to stir up trouble in the comics (a new issue just came out), it’s safe to safe Morgan’s villain will be a thorn in Rick, Daryl and the others’ side for years to come.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres October 23 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.