Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) is speaking out about talking trash on The Walking Dead. Season 7 introduces Anne, alias Jadis, as the enigmatic leader of the Scavengers: survivors living among heaps of garbage in a junkyard dwelling of Jadis's own creation. Simple. Sparse. Strange is the spoken language of the so-called "garbage people," who communicate with short sentences in broken English despite living in the earlier years of the zombie apocalypse. "Jadis" drops the trash talk after Simon (Steven Ogg) of the Saviors slaughters the Scavengers in Season 8, where it's confirmed Jadis can speak in complete sentences. It was all for show.
In Season 8 Episode 10, "The Lost and the Plunderers," Jadis reveals to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) that the junkyard was somewhere the Scavengers "could create something new. We could become something new."
"We did. This was our world, apart from everyone else," says Jadis, speaking normally for the first time. "In every way."
Why Did the Scavengers Speak That Way on The Walking Dead?
Six years and one fateful helicopter ride later, Jadis is Warrant Officer Stokes of the Civic Republic Military on Season 2 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. In a conversation with her military mentor, CRM Staff Sargeant Jennifer "Huck" Mallick (Annet Mahendru), Jadis recalls how she "created a little society quite quickly" before arriving at the Civic Republic.
"Here's a tip: you want to create a civilization from scratch in a hurry, give them their own language," Jadis says in Season 2 Episode 6, "Who Are You?" "Give them a little theater to share in. They'll make that theater real. It'll bond them, separate from everyone else."
"Sometimes in different groups, people develop their own speech patterns and habits, and once you're sort of cut off from pop culture, radio, television, etc., and you're not hearing other people talk that way, I think you would find — the way that there used to be much more local accents — the same thing would happen in the apocalypse," Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert previously told HuffPost about Scavenger speak. "It's like our Cockney slang. That's what happens."
Scavenger Speak Explained
McIntosh also considered the manner of speaking, embraced by Jadis lieutenants Tamiel (Sabrina Gennarino) and Brion (Thomas Francis Murphy) and their "garbage people" army, to be an intimidation tactic.
"It's a bit unnerving, which seems to be very much her game," McIntosh told ComicBook in 2017. "Her manipulation is strong and that's always a really solid place to start as an actor, you know. Not how it's delivered but what is being delivered and what you want from the other person."
Jadis is "minimalist" and "nothing is wasted" with the Scavengers, she said at the time. "I like the weirdness of the language. I like how it keeps them both cohesive as a group and also the way it keeps a distance from outsiders so that that weirdness is useful because nobody really knows what she's up to or why she's speaking like that."
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