When Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee returns to The Walking Dead, it could be with a new romantic interest — possibly her first since husband Glenn (Steven Yeun), father of son Hershel, was murdered by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) nearly eight years earlier. Cohan’s comeback, announced at New York Comic Con earlier this month, will see her re-enter a Walking Dead now home to new faces, including Alexandrian doctor Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas). In creator Robert Kirkman’s comic books, Dante was a top-ranking member of the Hilltop colony who grew close to Maggie as one of her right-hand men before emerging as her new suitor.
In The Walking Dead Universe, Maggie was last seen before the six-year time jump that followed the disappearance and presumed death of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Her time away was explained by Siddiq (Avi Nash), who revealed the Hilltop colony leader was off someplace far assisting benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with a new community.
A significant change from Robert Kirkman’s comic books, Maggie was temporarily written off when Cohan departed in favor of since-cancelled ABC spy action-comedy Whiskey Cavalier.
Maggie’s exit also meant alterations for Dante, introduced in Season 10 as a never-before-seen doctor at Alexandria. Because new father Siddiq is suffering from severe PTSD after a horrific encounter with Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers, Dante will get a chance to shine as Alexandria’s steady but smart-mouthed doctor.
“It’s one of those situations where, just [because of] the nature of where we are in the show and the characters who are no longer here, we had to bring Dante in a little bit of a different way than what you’re expecting,” executive producer Denise Huth recently told Radio Times. “In the comics, he’s very much tied to Maggie’s story and right now Maggie’s not here. But it was fun to introduce such a great character from the books and bring him in in a very different way.”0comments
In her first comments after surprise announcing her return at New York Comic Con ahead of TWD’s Season 10 premiere, Cohan didn’t say if the widowed Maggie will find love a second time when Cohan is again credited as a series regular in Season 11. The returning star did tell the AMC blog she is “super excited to see what this next chapter of Maggie will be.”
New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.