After the events of #TheWalkingDead Episode 1, it looks as though Rick and the group are well and truly at the mercy of Negan. Two strong members short and completely demoralized, Negan has the gang exactly when he wants them - kneeling before him both literally and metaphorically. In fact it's almost as though, Negan is the new God of the Walking Dead universe - sin against him, and you shall quite literally be smote.
Throughout the entirety of Episode 1, as Negan was displaying just how truly evil he is, there were actually quite a number of parallels between Negan and God that were hard to ignore. I mean sure, God isn't supposed to be evil, but Negan does seem to have become a perverse kind of deity in Rick's world.
We all know that The Walking Dead is no stranger to biblical comparisons, so jump in and take a look at some of the methods used in Episode 1 that were totally meant to establish Negan as a higher power:
Negan's disembodied voice
After seeing him ruthless strike down two of his own, Rick was forced to follow Negan's commands on their RV excursion. After instructing him to pick up his axe, Rick collapsed on top of the RV after escaping from a horde of walkers, only to hear Negan speaking to him through the air vents:
"Bet you thought you were all gonna grow old together, sittin' around the table at Sunday dinner and the happily ever after. No. Doesn't work like that, Rick. Not anymore. Think about what happened."
"People died, Rick. It's what happened. Doesn't mean the rest of them have to. Get me my ax. Get me my ax!"
"I thought you were the guy, Rick. Maybe you're not. We'll give it one more go. Now, I really want you to try this time. Last chance. Bring me my ax!"
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The voice was eerie and was all Rick could hear as he looked skyward, almost as though it was the voice of God he was hearing. An omnipotent power, instructing his servant to do his bidding without question.
The biblical parallels
After Rick and Negan returned to the group, Negan wasn't exactly sure that Rick understands that he is now the one in charge, so he gave him a choice: cut off Carl's left arm or everyone else in the group dies. After Rick comes just moments away from swinging the blade, Negan realizes he has Rick where he wants him, and he stops him.
This disturbing moment was a great point in the episode, and really marked exactly when Rick became fully broken. It was also pretty much a modern retelling of the bible passage, Genesis 22: 1-12.
In the bible God wanted to know if Abraham would obey him, so commanded him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Despite his struggle with what God was asking, Abraham wanted to obey God and took his son to a mountain top and prepared to kill him. However, as Abraham took the blade to kill his son, an angel of God appeared and told Abraham not to sacrifice his son, as God now knew he feared him.
Then, following on from from this very biblical moment, Negan made Rick repeat his new manta: "You answer to me. You provide for me. You belong to me." And I'll be damned to hell if that doesn't sound like a man who fancies himself God-like.
Watch The Walking Dead when it returns to AMC with Episode 2, "The Well" on Sunday, October 30 at 9pm ET
What did you make of The Walking Dead Episode 1?