The roles of Laura and Arat have been filled by Lindsley Register and Elizabeth Ludlow, respectively, ComicBook.com has learned. The roles are both key members of Negan's group, comparable to those of Simon and Dwight.
Going by Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comics, Laura should not be introduced until much further down the line. However, the show enjoys deviating from its source material to a certain extent. Laura first comes into the picture in issue #148. The AMC series has merely reached a story equivalent to that of issue #108 at the latest.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics follow.
Laura is an important member of the Saviors which, by the time she is introduced, are no longer Negan's. Instead, Dwight is in charge, aligning himself with Rick's Alexandria in an effort to start rebuilding the world. The potential for an intimate relationship between Dwight and Laura has been teased as the character used a kiss to offer some more motivation in Dwight's direction but it's tough to pull off in the apocalypse.
"I can definitively say that my dear friend Liz is not playing Laura, as that is me," said Register. "We've got a crazy season lined up for you guys." Laura was introduced in Sunday's The Cell episode, briefly playing games with Dwight during the episode's opening montage.
Ludlow's Arat will be a mirror of Tara - quite literally, as you can see in flipping the name's spelling. A name change is not uncommon in the adaptation process. Previously, Kirkman's Paul "Jesus" Monroe character saw a change to Paul "Jesus" Rovia as to avoid any confusion involving a potential familial relation to Deanna, Spencer, and Reg.
Tara made her debut in issue #104 of The Walking Dead comics. Arat will debut in episode 7x04.
Should Arat mirror Tara in more than only a name, she will also be a key member of the Saviors. Her introduction sees her attempting to capture Paul "Jesus" Monroe. Down the line, Tara is reluctant to assist Rick Grimes in his war with the Whisperers.
MORE WALKING DEAD:
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.