'TWD's Cassady McClincy on Lydia's 'Turmoil' After That Whisperer War Shocker

Emily Hannemann
The Walking Dead Season 10
Q&A Jace Downs/AMC

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 12, “Walk With Us.”]

If we were making a list of characters on The Walking Dead who undoubtedly deserve viewers’ sympathy, the number one spot would belong to Lydia (Cassady McClincy). The kid has been through a lot. Growing up in a cult of people who wear the rotting faces of the dead would mess anyone up, but then when the leader is one’s mom — and a horribly abusive mom, at that — yeah, it’s crystal clear why Lydia’s life has been complicated, to say the least.

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Unfortunately, it looks like that’s going to get worse before it gets better. As of Sunday’s episode, Alpha (Samantha Morton) is dead… and Lydia doesn’t know about it. She thinks Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), one of the only people to show her kindness since she joined the larger communities, betrayed her. She’s in the middle of the woods, presumably with no idea how to get back to Daryl (Norman Reedus). Poor Lydia!

TV Insider spoke with actress Cassady McClincy about how Lydia will react to Alpha’s demise, how she’s feeling about Negan, Carol and Daryl, and what fans can expect from the last four episodes in Season 10.

This episode was huge for Lydia. How will she react to learning her mom is dead?           ​

Cassady McClincy: Lydia had been coming to the realization that her mom needed to die for some time now, but that doesn't change the fact that it was still her mom. She still has a lot of internal turmoil going on and is very conflicted about what, exactly, she's supposed to feel about all of this. She might try to hide it, but she most likely won't be able to keep those thoughts and feelings stifled forever.

At the end of the episode, Lydia broke free from Negan’s cabin. Where is she going?       

When Lydia opens the door of the cabin, she isn't sure where she is, where everyone else is, or where she is going from here. It's all very complicated and confusing for her, because now she definitely doesn't know who she can trust.

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Has there ever been a time when folks were so polarized — and angry — about Carol?

In earlier episodes, Negan and Lydia had a kind of friendship, since he saved her life. What does she think of him now?                                                                                              

Lydia is definitely feeling hurt and betrayed by Negan.  She developed a bond with Negan over them both being "outsiders," and she thought he had her back after he saved her life. When Lydia escaped the battle and possible capture by the Whisperers, she found herself in the woods, terrified and wounded. When she saw Negan, she felt relieved and calmed down for a moment. She thought he was there to help her. So, when he didn't smile at her and started fighting her, kidnapped her, tied her up and left her in the cabin, that was really devastating for her.

The relationship between Lydia and Carol is interesting, too. I loved the emotional scene between them last episode, where Lydia realizes Carol hates herself. What can you tell me about their dynamic going forward, and how Lydia sees her?                                                     

I loved filming that scene! Working with Melissa (McBride) is just such an honor and I'm so grateful to the writers for scenes like that. Lydia feels Carol's pain of losing Henry (Matthew Lintz), and she sympathizes with her. They've both been through so much and even though Carol is working through some bad decisions as she tries to cope with her losses, Lydia can see through it all and knows that she has a good heart and is a good person.

Is Lydia going to continue to be a participant in the Whisperer War? If so, how?                      

I don't think I can answer that without giving too much away, so I'll just say that the viewers will have to stay tuned for these next few episodes.

Does Lydia see Daryl as a father figure? It seems like the show frames their relationship that way, but I’d like to know your thoughts on it. And — is she pals with Dog?

That's an interesting question! Lydia isn't sure if she sees anyone as a family member, mainly because she was mostly raised as a member of a pack, without anyone to really trust or have her back. I feel like after the death of her father, and meeting Beta (Ryan Hurst), Lydia probably looked to Beta to fill aspects of her father's shoes — but that's just not who Beta was.

After being left with no choice but to learn to depend on herself for her own survival and mental wellbeing, she’s not used to having someone show they truly care about her, like Daryl has. Having someone look out for her and comfort her when she is distraught is new to Lydia, but since she is still a child, I think she needs and craves that. She is slowly allowing herself to accept this father-like love. Lydia LOVES Dog, and they are good friends!

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Is there anyone Lydia hasn’t shared scenes with yet that you wish she would? If so, who? 

Had everyone not been so distracted by the Whisperer attack, I would have loved to have seen some more interaction between Mary and Lydia. They clearly have the prior-Whisperer thing in common, but I feel like they could have really bonded and leaned on each other as they navigated through life in this new community. Plus, I adore Thora (Birch) and loved getting to work with her!

I keep hoping Lydia will make a friend with someone on the Alexandria/Hilltop side, since she lost Henry. Is there anyone you think she’d get along with (besides Daryl)?  

I think that Lydia has a lot in common with Carol, and if they both make it through the Whisperer War, then they could be a friend to each other. Also, I think that maybe Lydia would be good friends with Kelly (Angel Theory), since they are both teenagers and have similar personalities.

What can fans expect from these last four episodes of Season 10?                                       

The writers have done such a fantastic job packing so much story and character development in these next episodes. You can expect to see a lot of action, unexpected surprises, new faces and new places, and a whole lot of creepy! ​

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC