The Walking Dead: Who Is Princess, a.k.a. Juanita Sanchez?

Who is Princess, the colorful and cheerful zombie apocalypse survivor on The Walking Dead? [...]

Who is Princess, the colorful and cheerful zombie apocalypse survivor on The Walking Dead? Inspired by the "Princess of Pittsburgh" from the comic books — "princess" because queen "makes [her] sound old" — Juanita Sanchez (Paola Lázaro) sports goggles, purple-dyed hair, and a fluffy pink jacket when she meets an expedition led by Eugene (Josh McDermitt) in Season 10 episode "Look at the Flowers." Despite getting off on the wrong foot with Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in "The Tower," the former lone survivor joins Eugene's group while en route to their rendezvous with a new community in "A Certain Doom."

For Princess, her fateful encounter with the group from the Hilltop colony comes more than a year after she last saw living people. In Sunday's "Splinter," part of the extended Season 10, Princess struggles with memories of her traumatic past as she tries to rescue her new best friends.

"As we see, it's this sense of 'are people even here anymore? Am I the only person that exists in this world?' That brings her back to before the apocalypse when she still felt alone and like an outcast," Lázaro told the AMC Blog about "The Tower." "Now, she finds herself literally alone and it doubles that pain. Does she trust that they are actually real? When it's been a year since you've seen anyone, she'll take anything. It's okay if they don't even like her."

The Walking Dead 171 Princess
(Photo: Image Comics)

In "Splinter," a panicking Princess recites state capitals to calm her nerves — a nod to her first appearance in the pages of The Walking Dead issue #171, where Princess asks Eugene to prove he's not a hallucination by saying something she doesn't know (like Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania).

Princess has ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, depression, a side of crushing loneliness, and the overactive imagination that helps her cope: "Maybe," she says, "the only sane response in an insane world."

"When these people actually extend an invitation to her to step outside of her loneliness and into a journey, it warmed my heart. It's like 'you want me? You want me to come into your world,'" Lázaro said. "It was kind of like me coming onto this established show. She's so excited and doesn't know what to do with herself. These people actually want to chill with her — even though she lied — and the reason she lied is because she just wanted to spend more time with them. It's like 'let me show you the scenic route before you leave me forever.'"

But Princess is here to stay: Lázaro returns when the final season of The Walking Dead launches this summer on AMC.

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead extended Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9 pm ET/8c on AMC.