Lauren Cohan: The Walking Dead team getting creative about Maggie’s possible return

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Nov 1, 2018, 9:55 PM EDT

The Walking Dead’s recent habit of saying farewell to its most beloved characters in the most decisive (that is, deadly) of ways naturally has fans anxious about how the show will wave goodbye to Maggie — whose Season 9 departure will come as anything but a surprise to anyone who’s been following the headlines.

But Lauren Cohan, who’s played Maggie on the show for the past eight seasons, appears to be confirming what showrunner Angela Kang revealed earlier this year about the possibility that Season 9 might, in fact, not be Maggie’s last. 

Speaking recently with Entertainment Weekly, Cohan said she’s viewing her exit from the current season as final — while holding the door open to the idea that her increasingly busy acting schedule might still allow Maggie to appear during Season 10, or perhaps beyond.

“I just don’t think it’s possible for me to know that right now,” she said of a potential Season 10 appearance. “The cool thing is that I don’t have to. The right thing is gonna show itself to me. Here’s the thing: I could say, ‘This is gonna happen, that’s gonna happen, this is what I hope.’ But the truth is I can only do what’s in front of me.”

If that sounds ambiguous, Cohan at least confirmed that she’s been involved in background talks to devise an interesting way to bring Maggie back — if, that is, she comes back in the first place.

“Yeah, we have had creative story conversation about what could happen with the character, and that’s all I know,” she said, adding that she’s made peace with her own exit, should Season 9 turn out to be Maggie’s last. 

“I really just feel like we went on this awesome adventure for season 9, and that kind of fills me up,” she said. “It also leaves her [Maggie] ever more interestingly open for more stories than she’s ever been. It’s cool because the show is so different this year, and the new characters coming on are so different, that that somehow makes that easier too.”

If there’s a takeaway from all of this open-ended talk, it’s that Maggie’s exit from the show likely won’t happen in a coffin. It’s also encouraging to know that Cohan herself is at least open to the idea of bringing Maggie back, and that she seems to be on the same page with Kang and the rest of the show’s creatives in figuring out an interesting way to make it happen.

In the meantime, we’re smack in the middle of the biggest Walking Dead goodbye of them all: Andrew Lincoln’s two-episode swan song as Rick Grimes reaches its sad end this Sunday, when we check back in to see if he’ll remain forever stuck — literally — where the last episode left him.