The Walking Dead 's Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has deftly dodged every attempt to take him out. He survived Carl's (Chandler Riggs) noble ambush; he missed the ONE bespoke bullet poor Rosita (Christian Serratos) acquired; and Sasha's (Sonequa Martin-Green) solo mission to run inside the Sanctuary was basically a suicide run.
With his vast power, army of underlings and ability to control people with fear, Negan seems impervious to any harm. How can anyone possibly stop him? It's a long time in the comics before he's tamed — jailed, to be specific, after he survives Rick (Andrew Lincoln) slitting his throat.
But what vulnerabilities can Rick's group use to stop this monster?
1. His arrogance.
You see it every time he's on screen — his swagger, the way he gets in people's faces and treats them like fools. All leaders need some hubris (lest they risk becoming like Hilltop's erstwhile leader, Gregory) but Negan's ego is so big it gets a personalized Christmas card from the Kardashians. His arrogance is on par with that of dictators, and you know how those guys always end up.
2. His false sense of security/blind trust in bitter minions.
We're still not sure if Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is hollering "I am Negan" because he's switched over to the Saviors for real, or if he's just doing a long, deep cover con. That's the thing though: his proximity to Negan and increasing blind trust from the suave sicko make him well-positioned to snuff the dude out. Same goes for Dwight (Austin Amelio) who is not only close enough to know what Negan's birthmarks look like, but also has serious motives to feed Negan to the walkers: losing his wife; and his DiGiorno pizza-looking face. If Negan's foes were smart, they'd seek to divide and conquer from within, a fail-safe strategy I learned from The Art of War. Or Mean Girls. I forget which.
3. His soft side/aversion to seeing people cry.
He's more evil than a password that requires changing every day, but Negan does have a sensitive side. In the comics, he stayed by his wife's side until her death; and on the show, he seems to be unable to keep it together if he sees anyone cry. When Carl starts sobbing (after Negan cruelly makes Carl expose his missing eye) Negan immediately shows some (relative) tenderness. When Olivia (Ann Mahoney) cries (after Negan body shames her) he apologizes for being rude. He's no Ryan Gosling meme for sure but, maybe crying while petting one of those deer would create a distraction long enough to shank him?
4. His lust.
The post-apocalyptic Hugh Hefner's perpetual thirst for women could easily be his downfall. Women in his harem have already tried to trick Eugene into making poison pills (it didn't work). So could one of the women in Rick's group pretend to make a play for the Saviors' leader, only to turn the tables and make things deadly at the last moment?
5. His reliance on Lucille.
Without his trusty barbed bat, the only thing badass about Negan is that black leather motorcycle jacket. While grabbing that bat from him won't be happening anytime soon (we're likely to see him drenching it in walker guts and infecting people with it first) it's his primary source of power. Snatch it from him when he's alone and otherwise unarmed, and he's got nothing.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.