Some Walking Dead viewers aren’t feeling the growing relationship between Henry (Matt Lintz) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy) of the Whisperers.
Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick on Sunday revealed poll results asking fans if they “ship” Henry and Lydia, with Hardwick reporting 73 percent of audience members polled voted against the budding romance.
Henry and Lydia, both jailed at Hilltop, quickly grew close after Henry defended the captured Whisperer against intense interrogation under Daryl (Norman Reedus). Insisting she’s a good person, Henry later temporarily freed Lydia from her cell and held her hand when comforting her overnight.
Henry, who doesn’t exist in The Walking Dead comic books, is a surrogate for Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) as result of the latter being killed off midway through last season.
The books established a relationship between Carl and Lydia, laying groundwork for conflict between parents Rick Grimes and Alpha.
That plotline is expected to play out in the show between Henry’s adoptive mother Carol (Melissa McBride) and Alpha (Samantha Morton) after 910, ’Omega,’ foreshadowed a clash between the dangerous mothers.
Though Daryl manipulated Henry into opening up to Lydia in an attempt to draw forth information about her mysterious group, Daryl found himself connecting with Lydia when she admitted a traumatic history under her cold and abusive mother.
“I think Norman plays all the stuff related to that character’s abuse so well, just all the complexities of that. That Lydia has the upbringing that she has, we just immediately kind of jumped to Daryl as such an interesting character to cross with her because he has had a horrible childhood,” showrunner Angela Kang told EW.
“He’s kind of risen above it in so many ways, even though there are still parts of himself that he struggles with. We thought that that was a really interesting opportunity to tell stories with people who have such trauma in their lives and are just trying to cope with it as they move forward in this apocalypse.”
Henry’s empathy towards Lydia is inspired in part by parents Carol and Ezekiel (Khary Payton), standing in direct contrast to Lydia’s upbringing under the barbaric and nomadic Whisperers.
“Henry really is the one that’s outside of that in some ways, but trying to empathize. He’s had a very lovely childhood,” Kang said.1comments
“Obviously, fraught with loss, but has had loving, supportive people raising him, which is just a completely different kind of background for him. He has such sympathy though and empathy for these people who weren’t as lucky as him in that way. That’s been really fun for us to write too.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.