- Enid’s “JSS” motto didn’t save her on Sunday’s “The Walking Dead.”
- Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
- Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead” season nine, episode 15, “The Calm Before.”
- AMC’s “The Walking Dead” brought a huge moment from the comics to life in which Alpha (played by Samantha Morton) shockingly kidnaps a bunch of characters from the show and puts their heads on pikes to form a border to her land.
- INSIDER spoke with Katelyn Nacon, whose character Enid, was among one of the biggest deaths on Sunday’s episode.
- Nacon said she “was surprised” more series regulars other than herself and Alanna Masterson weren’t killed off in the iconic scene.
Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” brought a tragic moment from the comics to life. Alpha kidnapped, killed, and displayed the heads of 10 characters on the show on pikes for Daryl, Michonne, Carol, and more to find as King Ezekiel held a celebratory trade fair to bring the four communities together.
Though a large amount of characters were killed off, the majority of them weren’t largely important cast members. Only two of them, Enid (Nacon) and Tara (Alanna Masterson), were series regulars. The biggest death on Sunday’s episode was Carol and Ezekiel’s son, Henry (Matt Lintz). Lintz has been on the show for 10 episodes.
If you weren’t surprised by the majority of the deaths on season nine’s penultimate episode, you weren’t alone.
“Honestly, I was surprised that it wasn’t anymore series regulars other than me and Alanna [Masterson],” Katelyn Nacon told INSIDER of her reaction to learning of the characters on the pikes.
- Katelyn Nacon told INSIDER she figured it was going to be her or Alden (Callan Mcauliffe) on the pikes. Sorry, young love.
- Gene Page/AMC
“When we first discussed it in the beginning of the season, it had sounded like there was going to be a lot of big people with their heads on pikes, but I was honestly kind of surprised that it was just me and her out of all the series regulars. I thought there was going to be more,” she said.
Enid’s death wasn’t a complete surprise to Nacon. The actress said she had a general meeting with showrunner Angela Kang last spring about the possibility of her character leaving by the end of season nine. Nacon didn’t know Enid was getting killed off the show for certain until about a week before they were filming Sunday’s episode. She told INSIDER she wasn’t sure what was going on with her character so she sent out an email and then finally received a call to let her know her time on the show was indeed coming to an end.
“I was a little surprised, because it came so last minute. But either way, I already knew it was a possibility, so there’s not much I could have done,” she said.
Nacon had played Enid on “The Walking Dead” since season five. Originally, a member of Alexandria, she was Carl’s unofficial girlfriend before he was killed off the show.
- Katelyn Nacon and Chandler Riggs on “The Walking Dead” season seven.
The majority of the characters killed off on Sunday’s episode were new and recurring characters that haven’t had much screen time on the show, including the newly introduced Highwaymen, Ozzy and Alek. Two more deaths belonged to teenagers who interacted with Henry and another duo were former Saviors in Negan’s community.
Tammy Rose (Brett Butler), an older member of the Hilltop community, was the only death brought to life from the comics.
- Brett Butler joined “TWD” on season nine.
- Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Nacon said other actors on the show expected to be killed off on Sunday’s extra-long episode.
“A lot of people were surprised to hear that it was me,” Nacon said of Enid’s death. “Even Khary [Payton] and Christian [Serratos], they thought that it was going to be them up until the episode came out for all of us to read. They kind of really went the entire year, too, just wondering whether they were going to die or not until they actually got the episode and saw it wasn’t them.”
Most fans probably expected to see Payton or Serratos’ characters, King Ezekiel or Rosita, go. In the comics, they’re among the 12 characters who get piked.
- Rick is floored by the deaths of Rosita and Ezekiel in the comics. That first guy is a man named Oscar. He’s not on the show.
- Image Comics/Skybound
The episode even offers several clear misdirects to make the audience think Rosita and Ezekiel may wind up on the pikes by the episode’s end. Alpha has a conversation at length with Ezekiel and then he goes missing. The Whisperer leader also takes a look at Rosita and Eugene at one point.
- Rosita is pregnant on the show and in the comics.
- Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
But as the big reveal occurs, viewers see Tara take over Rosita’s comic death. Henry gets substituted for Ezekiel so Carol doesn’t lose both her husband and son in one moment. It’s a major twist on an iconic scene, but the switcheroo doesn’t ultimately hold the same emotional weight as the comic reveal because of the obscurity of the majority of the character deaths.
How did you feel about the end of Sunday’s “The Walking Dead”? Were you expecting to see more big deaths during the pike scene? Let me know @KirstenAcuna on Twitter.
“The Walking Dead’s” season nine finale airs next Sunday on AMC at 9 p.m. You can follow along with our show coverage here.