The Walking Dead

Why Jadis Is Totally Different (& A Villain) In Walking Dead: World Beyond

Pollyanna McIntosh returns as Jadis in The Walking Dead: World Beyond, but she's very different compared to last time. What changed for the character?

How come Jadis is so different – and considerably more villainous – in Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2? Debuting in The Walking Dead season 7 as leader of the Scavengers, Jadis can best be described as a moral chameleon – simultaneously a friend and foe to Rick Grimes, dependent on which way the wind’s blowing. When “All Out War” subsides and her junkyard denizens lay dead, the real Jadis – identified as Anne – finally emerged. She tried valiantly to assimilate into Alexandrian life, but ultimately decided “if you want to go fast, go alone” and traded her way into the Civic Republic using Rick.

Six years later in the Walking Dead’s timeline, Jadis returns as a CRM officer. There’s no sign of Rick (though she does briefly reference Andrew Lincoln’s character), but Jadis herself is deeply embedded within the CRM structure. She’s involved with the top secret Project V and knows the truth about Omaha and Campus Colony. She’s trusted implicitly by Lieutenant Colonel Kublek and ruthlessly kills Dr. Lyla Belshaw for disloyalty to the Civic Republic. Compared to the “Anne” audiences bade farewell to in The Walking Dead season 9, World Beyond’s Jadis is a different beast entirely.

While leading the Scavengers, Jadis was stubbornly individualistic. An artist with a penchant for nakedness, Jadis defined herself by free-thinking, and seemed perfectly at home without societal norms holding her back. The CRM’s philosophy couldn’t be further removed. The militia are strictly regimented, identical in both visual appearance and moral outlook like classic, faceless Stormtroopers serving an unseen master. The Walking Dead viewers never would’ve expected Jadis to thrive in such a stiff, restrictive environment, but here she is. Jadis also cuts a more villainous figure in World Beyond season 2, despite having softened toward the end of her time in The Walking Dead. Jadis worked hard for acceptance in Alexandria, developed genuine feelings for Gabriel Stokes (whose name she still uses), and whatever she might claim now, genuinely wanted Rick Grimes to survive. The new Jadis, however, manipulates her own friends, blackmails an innocent father using his daughters’ safety, and murders scientists for rule-breaking.

Though the personality transplant between The Walking Dead season 9 and World Beyond season 2 is drastic, it’s not without explanation. Joining the CRM seems to have a transformative effect on pretty much everyone. Huck is a totally different person among her fellow CRM soldiers, while a single CRM experience spooked Rick so badly he opted against returning to Alexandria. Jadis has spent 6 long years as a Civic Republic soldier; it’s only natural her characterization has altered.

Jadis’ evolution can also be attributed to past traumas. Speaking with Huck in Walking Dead: World Beyond, Jadis acknowledges the Scavenger community’s slaughter, emotions obviously still raw. Upon joining Alexandria, Jadis then felt hurt because no one trusted her aside from Rick and Gabriel. Blaming herself for the Scavengers’ downfall, Jadis may no longer want to be the unique free-spirit of before, now believing the Civic Republic’s uniformity is how people you love don’t get hurt. The trust she so craved in Alexandria isn’t a problem either, since no one in the CRM trusts each other anyway. A line from Jadis herself suggests this is the reason behind her new persona; telling Huck she joined the CRM with no “purpose,” but her life was given meaning and direction.

It’s worth considering that Jadis is simply putting on a performance in Walking Dead: World Beyond. She arrived alongside Rick Grimes, but her moving-in buddy is nowhere to be found. Though Rick might not agree with her methods, Jadis could be undercover, secretly working with Rick against the CRM. If the new Jadis is genuine, however, years spent under the CRM and two failed communities could’ve quashed her originality, while also bringing out Jadis’ inner darkness.

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