Where is Lydia (Cassady McClincy) on The Walking Dead? The emancipated daughter of abusive Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) was last seen in 10x07, "Open Your Eyes," when Carol (Melissa McBride) used Lydia to expose Alpha as a liar. The plot worked — it convinced Whisperer acolyte Gamma (Thora Birch) to flip on Alpha and provide Aaron (Ross Marquand) with key intel on Alpha's walker horde — but Lydia, feeling betrayed, fled into Whisperer territory alone. In 10x08, "The World Before," Daryl (Norman Reedus) led a group with plans to locate the horde and then Lydia, but that mission was upended when Carol inadvertently caused the group to become trapped in a cave where they're now surrounded thousands of walkers.
"I think Lydia decides to cross the border and run away because she can't be herself around the Alexandrians, because they don't accept her. They just see her as another Whisperer," McClincy said on a recent episode of Talking Dead. "I think she's never been alone, and that's part of the reason she went into Negan's cell, is because she's always been with the Whisperers, and she's never gotten to think for herself. She's never been free from Alpha."
Lydia was nowhere to be found in "The World Before," and she was noticeably absent from the trailer for the second half of Season 10. So where is Lydia?
"I think now she's gone back to her home in the woods, where she grew up," McClincy said. "That's the place that she knows. She's gonna make some decisions and figure out who she is."
The Lydia-Gamma reveal will have a lasting impact on the back half of the season and will play into the coming story for Carol, who committed what showrunner Angela Kang called "kind of a dick move" when involving Lydia in her latest play against Alpha.
"That was her state of wanting revenge, and sometimes a revenge journey takes a dark path," Kang previously told EW. "We'll see how it pays off or doesn't and what happens next. But yeah, I think Carol's a little more reckless than usual in this pursuit to kill Alpha. She's always so strategic and is thinking multiple steps ahead, but in the moment, I really think she was like, 'Oh, I got to do this,' and she just did it."
She continued, "I don't know if she did her usual gaming it out multiple steps. She might have thought about one angle, and I don't think she thought about the human angle of Lydia, who's like her pawn in the moment, which is very unlike her. But I think that can be interesting, and certainly, Melissa is doing a great job with all the different twists and turns of the story for Carol."
Lydia left parting words for Carol when she said she was picking her own side, but was running off an impulsive move? Or does Lydia have a plan?
"I think, in the moment, she's just so sick of being pulled between the two things: between her mother who is abusive and horrible, but is the only parent and family she knew, and these people who she had come to trust and love and think of as family and being betrayed in what she feels like is a similar way," Kang said. "And so, in the moment, she just needs to clear her head and figure out what is next for her."