Reacting to the end of The Walking Dead after 11 seasons, longtime series star Lauren Cohan says it's "bittersweet" that the zombie drama is approaching its conclusion. Cohan first boarded the show in its second season in 2011, bringing to life farm girl Maggie when the band of Atlanta survivors led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) temporarily settled on the Greene family farm. Ten years after her first season, and after spending some time away on Whiskey Cavalier, Cohan returns to The Walking Dead as a series regular in the final season to air 24 episodes across 2021 and 2022.
Learning about the looming end of The Walking Dead was "such a crazy sensation," Cohan told Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick on the Walking Dead Universe Preview Special. "I mean, bittersweet, of course."
"When you really, really love a show, it's quite exciting to know that it's actually ending, and it sort of creates this kind of community ... and now we can kind of all be together when it's ending," she said, adding it creates a "mixed bag of emotions."
"Part of me was like, 'Cool, we're having this actual ending to this massive show,'" Cohan continued. "The show is ending, but we still have two calendar years worth of stuff to film. So it's not really going to feel real to anybody yet. Check in with me in like 19 months and bring a box of tissues."
Cohan is now back in Georgia for filming on the six new episodes extending Season 10 into 2021 after the October 4 airing of the season finale, "A Certain Doom," Cohan's first episode of The Walking Dead since 2018. This batch of episodes will air early next year, and the final season will launch later in 2021 before concluding in late 2022.
"It's so exciting to have Lauren back with us," showrunner Angela Kang said during the Walking Dead Universe Preview Special. "We've been saying for a long time that we wanted to tell more story with Maggie, that we have things in the works, and we were trying to figure it out, so it's really exciting to get into this new chapter."
Former Walking Dead star Lennie James, whose Morgan Jones now leads Fear the Walking Dead, also reacted to the announcement during the Preview Special, saying, "Like everybody, I was surprised. But like everybody, we all knew at some point everything comes to an end."