The Walking Dead Boss Talks Maggie As a Working Mother

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Its a whole new world when The Walking Dead returns. When season 9 begins, a year and a half has passed, which means Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has welcomed her baby one that the world has been waiting to meet.

You see her as a working mother. She is an incredible leader of Hilltop. When we start off the season, Hilltop is in the best shape of all the communities. She really came in and her background as a farmers daughter is so valuable in the apocalypse, showrunner Angela Kang told Us Weekly exclusively in our Fall TV preview. She has built Hilltop from what it already was into an even more thriving and dynamic community, but shes actively mothering this beautiful child that weve all been waiting for, the son of Glenn. You see her balancing the things the way that working mothers do. I myself am a working mother and many of our viewers are. You figure out how to juggle. Thats part of her life.

However, the new baby isnt the only change in town. Overall, the group is dealing with more scarcity than they ever have before including a lack of gasoline and weapons.

They move to a more horse-driven culture so that changes some things about the way they go about the world, Kang said. Theyre conserving their bullets much more so theyre dealing with hand weapons, which means that their fights with zombies are generally at closer range and a little scarier. We see that some of the stories that we ended with last season, there are some lingering after effects to that.

Midway through last season, Carl Grimes died, something that the group will still be dealing with. Michonne (Danai Gurira) will actually be wearing a piece of Carls shirt in her hair.

Whats interesting about that little piece in her hair is that we talked about in the beginning of the season myself and the actors about different things that people have for memories. A lot of our actors carry little mementos and things in their pockets, stuff that fans never see because its part of their internal thing that theyre doing, Kang said. Some of our characters have little tokens on their costumes so they can carry those things that are important to them, those kind of daily reminders of why they do the things they do, why they fight, the things they do to stay alive.

There will definitely be things like that, she continued. I think thats very true to life, part of the understory to whats happening in The Walking Dead.

Season 9 will also be the last for star Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, as hes chosen to leave the show. However, Kang doesnt feel the pressure to make the fans happy with his ending. Instead, she just wants it to be meaningful.

The thing that we really thought about was obviously this is going to cause some grief on the fans, so we want to tell as wonderful and as exciting a story as we can while also telling the stories of the incredible ensemble around him, just do service to this great character that we all love so much and this man that we love, she told Us. Youll see incredible work between him and the other great characters that weve followed for so many years on the show. We have some incredible, incredible scenes between him, Maggie, Carol (Melissa McBride), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Michonne particularly, but really with everybody. That was our hope.

The Walking Dead returns on AMC Sunday, October 7, at 9 p.m. ET.

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The Walking Dead Boss Talks Maggie As a Working Mother

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