Lauren Cohan stepped away from The Walking Dead in the early part of season 9 – in the same episode as Andrew Lincoln, to be exact – but unlike her co-star, the actress is returning as Maggie Rhee in the show’s very next episode. Yes, Cohan is set to be back on the series fulltime from the delayed season 10B finale onward, which we at last know is hitting AMC this October.
TWD chief content officer Scott M. Gimple spoke with ComicBook.com recently and teased a little about what we can expect from Maggie now that she’s back. Among other things, he promised big changes for the former Hilltop leader, even describing her as like “a new character” seeing as she’s spent so long away from her friends
“She will return somewhat a new character, which is kind of cool, and all those things that affected and changed her are a story that we want to mine,” Gimple said. “And the dynamics that she left the story in are not the dynamics that she’s coming back to and for her especially, it’s like she took a year off of high school and she’s coming back and everybody has changed.”
When the series jumped six years into the future in season 9, episode 6, Maggie was explained to have left Hilltop for somewhere far away with her son, helping Georgie establish a new, unknown community. The opening scene for the finale shows Maggie retrieving an old letter from Carol, which is how she finds out about the threat of the Whisperers and presumably makes her way back to help them in their final battle against the villains.
As Gimple teases above, when Maggie does return, she’ll discover many changes, including a few missing friends and a former enemy now considered an ally. Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have previously teased that there will be a lot of animosity between Maggie and Negan, now that he’s out of his jail cell and apparently redeemed. And Morgan thinks Negan may even bond with young Hershel, which would certainly be an interesting development for The Walking Dead.