The Walking Dead Casts Masked Mystery Man

The secret identity of the masked stranger on The Walking Dead is no longer a mystery. AMC Networks on Thursday confirmed three new cast members for The Walking Dead when it returns in February 2021 with six new bonus episodes, now in production in Georgia, as part of an extended season 10. Actors joining the cast for this mini-season include Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Perry Mason) as Mays, Hilarie Burton Morgan (One Tree Hill, Friday Night In with The Morgans) as Lucille, and Okea Eme-Akwari (Cobra Kai, Greenland) as Elijah, the metal-masked fighter accompanying Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in "A Certain Doom."

In "A Certain Doom," Maggie returns to Virginia at the climax of the Whisperer War with the masked Elijah (Eme-Akwari). Wearing a metal mask and a hood, and wielding bladed kama weapons, the ninja-like fighter helps Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Alden (Callan McAuliffe) fend off attacking Whisperers before rescuing Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) inside the hospital tower under siege from Beta's (Ryan Hurst) army.

Maggie reveals Elijah's name in episode 1017, "Home Sweet Home," in a clip released as part of a virtual cast table read in October. In this first episode back, set in the immediate aftermath of the Whisperer War, Maggie explains what happened after she left the Hilltop with son Hershel years earlier:

"The truth is I left home because I didn't want Negan taking up any more space in my head, and I realized I wasn't ready to bring Hershel back to that," she tells Daryl (Norman Reedus) of her decision to leave. "And the next morning, we found Elijah and a whole community that needed us as much as we needed them. And it felt like it was meant to be."

Elijah does not have a counterpart in the comic books. Some questioned if the masked man might be Mercer, a comic book character who wears body armor and wields bladed weapons, but showrunner Angela Kang last month shot down those theories.

More about Elijah and Maggie's time away from The Walking Dead will come to light in the extended season 10. Maggie has been off with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), the bespectacled benefactor who has so far appeared only once in season 8 episode "The Key." AMC has not said whether Atkinson reprises her role in this coming run of episodes.

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"[Maggie] has seen some dark things on the road, and obviously, like when she comes in, she's with this man in like a metal mask, and who is this fellow, what adventures have they been on? That's all part of the story going forward, and it's going to drive one of the major missions that we'll start to see unfold," Kang said in an October interview. "It will lead us to meet some other interesting characters that will cross into some of the other major storylines of our series going forward."

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead returns with new episodes on February 28, 2021, on AMC.