Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend one of Fan Fest’s most popular events: Walker Stalker – Chicago. With the company’s re-branding of its cons and its decision to combine both Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains Con, I expected the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to be crawling with fans all weekend, and Chicago did not disappoint. There was so much to take in from the amazing vendors to the interesting panels to the unique cosplay, but my main goal was to catch up with some of Dead cast. It’s not often that so many cast members are in one room, and I had to capitalize on such opportunity.
As thousands of fans crowded the ever-so-popular Celebrity Autograph Area, I really wasn’t sure how many questions I would get to ask some of my favorite characters, but if there is one thing that holds true about the Walking Dead verse, it’s that the actors are always willing to chat with fans and provide memorable experiences. Personally, I have never had a negative experience with anyone from The Walking Dead when I have attended the events in the past as a regular fan, and the kindness and appreciation most Dead actors have for their fans make these events uber memorable. This idea held true as I approached two of the actors featured in arguably the greatest highlight of Season 9: the pike scene. I wanted to talk with Matt Lintz (Henry) and Katelyn Nacon (Enid) to hear their thoughts on their character’s demise and overall growth/impact on this past season. Both deaths came as a surprise to me and thousands more in episode 15, and I have a feeling that episode will play a critical role in the direction taken in Season 10 by our survivors.
First up, I talked with Matt Lintz. Henry was a polarizing character, for better or for worse, in the latter half of Season 9, and I felt as though his character was met with some harsh criticism by fans. Yes, we can all say he was like Carl in his blatant disregard for his well-being and for the safety of the group, and his listening/rationalizing skills were lacking. However, his character provided a unique perspective on life during the apocalypse, and he arguably brought out the best in some of our core survivors both in the present and in the future.
Jon Maus: Well, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I greatly appreciate it.
Matt Lintz: “No, thank you. I’m ready for it.”
JM: What do you think Henry’s biggest impact was on the show?
ML: “Well, growing up in the kingdom, I think throughout the seasons you see a lot of darkness and people not trusting each other. I think Henry sees the light in people a lot of the time, and, sometimes, that comes off as being really naive. For example, seeing the light in Lydia. He really saw something in her even though she had a terrible past. At first, Daryl didn’t see it and people like Michonne didn’t see it, but now setting up for Season 10 and so forth, I think they’ll be more forgiving and see the light in a lot more characters.”
JM: So you think Henry’s presence will live on?
ML: “Yeah, I think it’s because of Henry that change will happen. Sure, he’s naive, but I think it’s because he thinks there’s still a lot of good in the world. A lot of people have given up on the world. For example, the Whisperers think it’s the walkers’ world, but Henry knows the world can be rebuilt.”
JM: What was your favorite moment to film or your favorite Henry scene from Season 9?
ML: “Man, well, for me my favorite moment would be the end of [episode] 15 in the barn. That scene was iconic, but the most fun I had was the worm scene with Cassady [McClincy] or Lydia. We had a ton of fun because when we tripped, there was a brick laying around. I was only supposed to trip once, so I did the trip and got up. But I accidentally tripped again, so it wasn’t scripted. I actually tripped.”
JM: My last question involves the pike scene. How did you react when you found out you were going to be on the pike, a pretty iconic death?
ML: You know, at first, it was sad, obviously. I think just being a part of such an amazing cast and crew was great. When you look at it, that scene is one of the most iconic deaths, if not the most iconic, in maybe all the comics. Just being able to look back on all the amazing moments I had with the cast and crew for those amazing 10 episodes was cool. I really hope people enjoyed Henry.”
JM: Well, I know we did, but I know we were shocked to see you up there [on the pike]. It was a really surprising moment, but I felt like there was so much more Henry could do.
ML: Ah, awesome, but you know, I think every character has more to give. Maybe Henry more than others, but I don’t know. People have to die, and I think Henry was a really good shock factor. I haven’t even seen the episode, actually.”
ML: “Yeah, I don’t know why. I’ll get to it, but it’s really sad. When I saw the script for the pike scene, I knew it would be really sad.”
After speaking with Matt about his character’s impact and departure, I went to have a similar conversation with Katelyn Nacon to see how she felt about Enid’s tenure on the show. Enid was around a bit longer than Henry, and her role at Hilltop was a bit more crucial to the well-being of our communities. Remember, her character also had deep ties with Glenn and Maggie Rhee, so I am really looking forward to seeing Maggie’s reaction to Enid’s death when she returns. Enid is a character who learned to leave her state of solitude behind and trust in our group of survivors. That transition was not an easy one, but her relationship with Carl and Maggie taught her how to use her sorrowful past to create a strong future.
JM: Well, thank you for taking the time to talk, and I’ll get right into it. What’s your favorite Walking Dead memory?
Katelyn Nacon: “Ah, Walking Dead memory I’m a part of? I guess it would be my first season on the show. It was great. Getting to know everyone and being a part of the cast and family. I thought that was a great experience.”
JM: Now, what was your initial reaction when you found out that [Enid] would be on a pike?
KN: “Um, well, I mean I wasn’t thrilled. [Laughs] I don’t think anyone is when they find out they’re going to be a decapitated head. But, after awhile, I kind of came to the conclusion that I had a really great time on the show, and I was really happy with the work I did. Enid was such a cool character, and she had an impact on the show. Others can learn from her and how the group accepted her. I’m really excited for the work to come.”
JM: That’s a great transition to the next question. Any big future projects that fans can look for?
KN: “Ah, well, I just started working on this show in California called Light as a Feather. It’s on Hulu now, and Season 2 will come out during the summer. It’s really exciting.”
I want to thank both Matt Lintz and Katelyn Nacon for taking the time to answer answer some questions, and I will be posting up some other interviews I conducted from Walker Stalker Chicago in the next few days.
Jon Maus is a high school English Language Arts teacher and an all-around pop culture enthusiast. He has a B.S. and a M.E. in English. Some of his favorite fandoms include The Walking Dead, Marvel, Disney, Back to the Future, and the Karate Kid.