Avi Nash joined a long list of actors from The Walking Dead at this year’s Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta. We chatted with the actor about the transformation of his character Siddiq.
Viewers first meet Siddiq as a loner who encounters Carl and Rick Grimes at a gas station in The Walking Dead season 8 premiere. Carl wants to help the newcomer while Rick fires a warning shot to keep him distant.
During the encounter Siddiq utters the words “may my mercy prevail over my wrath” from the Quran. Rick revisits the phrase after showing mercy on Negan in the season 8 finale.
Despite his father’s warning about welcoming a new person to their group, Carl returns to the stranger to bring him food. He secretly brings Siddiq to Alexandria and hides him in the sewer tunnels. It is what happens on the way to Alexandria that changes the shape of Carl’s fate forever. The pair battles a group of walkers and Carl is bitten.
While difficult to not associate Siddiq with Carl’s death, he does bring much needed resources to the communities as a doctor. Siddiq was performing his residency when the world changed. He promises a dying Carl that he will honor Carl’s death with his life.
We posed a question to Avi Nash about his character Siddiq. He shared some powerful insights.
How has Siddiq changed after Carl’s passing?
Avi: I think, first of all, Carl’s death for Siddiq has translated into a sense of purpose that I think he was starting to lose being out there in the woods. He was trying to honor his parents and remove walkers from the world. Because one less walker is one less walker is one less walker.
After Carl’s death, first of all, he is very indebted to the group for taking him regardless. Secondly, he needs to make it mean something and he says that to Carl last season. Carl says “you’re stuck with us” and he goes, “I’m going to honor you, Carl”.
I think for him what that ends up becoming is that he fosters a very close relationship with Carl’s family. Thanks to them, Rick takes him in, Michonne gives him guidance, and he acts as an elder sibling to Judith.
And in the time jump that we’ve seen now in season 9, we see that Siddiq is no longer an outsider. He is one of the group and he’s also one of the group because when Carl dies, he needs to make sure that what he’s doing is now useful. So he’s going around and the little knowledge that he has, he’s sharing it with whomever he can. Enid is a prodigy and so he’s teaching her what he knows.
I guess those are some of the things of how he’s changed. He was a bit lost trying to honor his parents, and now he’s concretely making sure he’s a good member of the group. He’s part of the Rick Grimes family. He’s sharing his knowledge with everyone.
And he’s making sure that people don’t forget what Carl died for, which is a world in which we come together, and we don’t just survive, but we live.
Thank you to Avi Nash for speaking to us about how the character of Siddiq has evolved over the last two seasons. I think Siddiq is doing a wonderful job of honoring Carl and supporting not only the Grimes family, but all the various communities as well.
AMC has told us, however, that the departure of Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead is imminent. I have to wonder what impact this will have on Siddiq after having found that sense of family with Rick, Michonne, and Judith.
I personally think Siddiq has what it takes to navigate the trials and uncertainties of the new world.
Writer, interviewer in metro Atlanta. Always ready to talk TV and movies. Wife, mom, special needs advocate.