The Walking Dead’s Madison Lintz Didn’t Expect Sophia to Die in Season 2

Former Walking Dead actress Madison Lintz didn't expect to leave the show early in the second season because her character, Sophia Peletier, was still alive in creator Robert Kirkman's comic books. The only child of Carol (Melissa McBride) and her abusive husband Ed (Adam Minarovich), Sophia went missing in the Season 2 premiere, "What Lies Ahead," where she fled from a horde of walkers passing through a blocked highway. Despite searches mounted by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Sophia wouldn't return until the midseason finale, "Pretty Much Dead Already," where a zombified Sophia was discovered alongside other walkers inside farmer Hershel's (Scott Wilson) barn.

"I honestly thought that I was in [more of the second season]. I thought I was not gonna die, because I was still alive in the comics," Lintz told Skybound's Talk Dead to Me podcast. "So I’m like, ‘I’m fine, it’s totally fine.’ And then [executive proucer] Gale Anne Hurd ended up calling my mom about a month before I shot the scene and told us the news, and of course it was so sad because that show was so awesome to be on."

Hurd "really explained to us the emotional leverage it was going to have, and so I was definitely obviously sad, but very excited about shooting that scene," Lintz recalled of the midseason finale, which ended with Rick shooting the reanimated Sophia. "So I understood why they did it."

Lintz added, "As far as deaths go on the show, I think Sophia got a pretty damn good one."

Sophia would go on to survive until the final issue of The Walking Dead comic book published in July 2019. After jumping more than two decades into the future, issue #193 revealed Sophia had a daughter with childhood best friend Carl Grimes, whose live-action counterpart (Chandler Riggs) would be killed off in Season 8 of the television show in another change from the books.

The Walking Dead Season 7 introduced Henry of the Kingdom, a character created for the show and first played by Lintz's real-life younger brother, Macsen Lintz.

Another sibling, Matt Lintz, would play Henry after a six-year time jump in The Walking Dead Season 9. There Henry was the adopted son of then-married couple Carol and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), who separated after Henry was murdered by Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton).

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During a joint convention appearance last summer, the Lintz siblings agreed Henry's death might have been worse for Carol than Sophia's. But,as Madison pointed out, "For the record, when [Sophia] died, [Carol] became a badass."

For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.