The latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, ‘The Cell’, may not have been as intense or action-packed as the much-discussed season opener but it did give viewers a vital insight into the inner workings of Negan’s group of survivors, The Saviors. As poor Daryl Dixon quickly discovered, Negan’s gang aren’t specialists in hospitality and any member who doesn’t completely obey their leader and his inner circle are dealt with swiftly and harshly.
So far, The Walking Dead has only focused on a select few Saviors, primarily the conflicted Dwight who loyally serves Negan despite the baseball-bat wielding lunatic both stealing his wife and giving him a facial disfigurement. Viewers also briefly saw Steven Ogg’s Simon, referred to as Negan’s ‘right hand man’ and perhaps best known for portraying the level-headed Trevor Philips in Grand Theft Auto V.
According to ComicBook however, it appears that a new member of the Saviors will be introduced in next episode ‘Service‘ and will be played by Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 actress, Elizabeth Ludlow. The young actress previously snagged a part in Guardians 2 in the thrilling sounding role of ‘Easik Mother’ – a bit-part sounding character if ever there was one – but is perhaps best known for recurring roles in television series such as Satisfaction and Powers.
Although details of Ludlow’s character role in The Walking Dead are yet to be fully revealed, AMC have confirmed that the character’s name will be Arat and the actress’ Twitter biography lists her as a “friend of Lucille”, suggesting Arat will be a Savior when she makes her debut this Sunday. Joining the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead is likely to be Ludlow’s most high-profile gig to date and although the actress isn’t a particularly recognizable face in the world of television, the AMC show has a history of taking young, lesser-known talent and coaxing convincing performances out of them, such as in the case of Tom Payne’s Jesus.
Fans of The Walking Dead comic series will already be aware that Arat is not a character that appears in the original source material and of course, it’s entirely plausible that this name is an alias designed to avoid any spoilers leaking out before the episode airs. It’s also possible that Arat is an entirely new character to the TV show with no connection to the comic book series whatsoever.
With that said, there are several characters with whom Elizabeth Ludlow shares at least a physical resemblance with and who are indeed key members of the Saviors in the comics. Arat could feasibly be Laura, a character who befriends Dwight later in the series and who harbors anti-Negan sensibilities. Alternatively, Arat could be based on a comic book Savior called Tara, a headstrong and fierce character who has little love for Rick’s group in Alexandria and given that a character named Tara already exists in the TV show, that could account for the name change to Arat. Or she could be a completely new character with no history in the comics whatsoever – either way, we’ll find out on Sunday.
The Walking Dead continues with ‘Service’ on 13th November on AMC.