Season 9 of The Walking Dead brought major changes to the series, including the departure of fan-favorite character Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan. However, Maggie made a surprising return in the Season 10 finale, leaving fans wondering about the reasons behind her exit and subsequent comeback.
In Season 9, Maggie’s departure coincided with the departure of another key character, Rick Grimes, though Rick was set to appear in a spinoff show with Michonne. This overshadowed Maggie’s exit, and her character was rarely mentioned during her absence, thanks in part to the threat of The Whisperers.
Maggie’s on-screen departure in Season 9 involved her moving on from her obsession with killing Negan and joining forces with Georgie to build a new community. In the Season 10 finale, Maggie returned after reading a letter from Carol detailing the hardships and losses suffered by her friends, motivating her to come back.
However, behind the scenes, Maggie’s exit was influenced by a pay dispute between Lauren Cohan and the producers. Cohan had requested equal pay to her male co-stars, and she also had commitments to an ABC pilot called Whiskey Cavalier, which was picked up for a full season. As a result, Cohan negotiated a limited return to The Walking Dead, appearing only in the first half of Season 10 before presumably receiving the desired raise.
Showrunner Angela Kang had always kept the door open for Cohan’s return, and it happened sooner than expected when Whiskey Cavalier was canceled after its first season. Maggie’s return to Season 10 was made possible by this turn of events.
Maggie’s return to the series marked a significant development in her character arc, including a reluctant alliance with Negan, her husband Glenn’s killer. As the series progressed, Maggie found herself working with Negan to survive and eventually abandoned her plans to kill him, acknowledging their mutual dependence.
The story continued into the final season of The Walking Dead, with Maggie and Negan facing new challenges in the Commonwealth. Despite their complicated history, Negan prevented Maggie from taking a dark path, and their connection remained strong as they confronted new adversaries.
Lauren Cohan’s return to The Walking Dead exceeded expectations, as she not only outlasted the original series but also continued her character’s journey in the spinoff series, “The Walking Dead: Dead City,” set in New York. The second season of the spinoff promises to explore the evolving relationship between Maggie and Negan as they protect Maggie’s son, Herschel, from those who seek to exploit Negan’s skills.
In summary, Maggie’s departure and return in The Walking Dead were influenced by both on-screen and off-screen factors, leading to a complex and evolving character arc that continues in the spinoff series.