The Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Surprise Character Return

The Walking Dead had a five-star episode on Sunday night in the form of Stalker, the tenth of the AMC show's tenth season. The tense new hour pitted Team Family against the Whisperers on multiple fronts. One battle was being waged inside of Alexandria's doors while another saw Daryl and Alpha throwing down which almost cost them both their lives. However, when their fight was over and neither had anymore gas left in the tank, a certain character returned to the show unexpectedly and came to the rescue of one character while leaving the other behind, hopeless. The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang opened up about the return.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 10x10 follow. Major spoilers!

As Alpha lay lifeless on the ground, her daughter Lydia appeared for the first time since casting herself away from both groups in the first half of Season 10. Rather than help Alpha, Lydia helped Daryl escape the situation and left her mother behind, sending a powerful message about her stance.

"If you’re Alpha and you think you’re dying and your daughter comes, what is it that Alpha really wants when it comes to Lydia?" Kang explained to EW, in reference to Alpha's plea to Lydia to kill her, thus becoming the Alpha herself and leading the Whisperers. "It feels like what she wants. In Alpha’s mind, she was doing all of this for Lydia and she wants Lydia to carry on her mantle. That would be the only way that she wants to die. But to make that happen, it all gets so screwed up because, of course, there would be a part of Lydia that’s tempted to just end it, but the darkness it would take to kill your own mother, even a mother that’s as villainous and screwed up as Alpha is — It’s like Alpha’s telling her, 'Do this so that you become like me.'"

Lydia never seemed to be fully bought into being a Whisperer. Now, the pressure of leading them, is not something Kang thinks Alpha should have tried to burden her with. "What kind of a thing is that to lay on your teenage daughter?" Kang explained. "Lydia is at heart, this very good person who wants to be a good person and who wants to be part of this group that is more of a family than she’s ever had with her own mother. It’s just the darkness of what Alpha’s asking her to do, she has to fight it, because she doesn’t want to be dragged down to the same level as her mother, where nothing matters other than just the survival of the fittest. And she’s trying to reject that philosophy, but it puts her in a very, very painful compromised position."

Now, Alpha realizes that Lydia is completely lost to her. While she was not dead at the end of the episode, she was reciting her Whisperer mantra to those around her -- ultimately proclaiming the Whisperers are the end of the world.

"We see her with the mantra. I think Alpha, with this moment with Lydia, there was a part of her, after she basically let Lydia go off to be with our people, that always believed that she was almost sent off on a Whisperer Rumspringa, like, 'Go off Lydia. You’re going to see how terrible the world is and it’s all going to go the way that I said. It’s all going to fall,'" Kang explained. "And she was trying to sabotage it, right? But now I think she’s at a point where she realizes that her daughter might be lost to her. So that’s gonna change the equation quite a bit."

With Daryl and others having started fights with Alpha and Lydia having left her mother for good, the Whisperer War is about to go into full swing during the next couple of episodes of The Walking Dead.

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC.