Sophia Peletier was killed off in The Walking Dead season 2 through a heart-wrenching turn of events, but the character’s fate was much different in the comics. Madison Lintz portrayed the young character for the first two seasons of the AMC apocalyptic drama. The TV show’s young female character was taken from Robert Kirkman’s comic book series in which the show was based. Beginning in 2003, The Walking Dead comics ran for 193 issues before suddenly coming to an end in 2019. Interestingly enough, Sophia was the longest-surviving female figure in the comics, but the same certainly couldn’t be said for her TV counterpart.
Sophia made her debut in The Walking Dead‘s third overall episode titled “Tell It to the Frogs.” She was the only child of Ed and Carol Peletier, and the trio were members of the core survivor group in the focus of the series. Sophia wasn’t too devasted when her father fell victim to a walker considering he was an abusive monster. She felt safe with the group, especially with Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh in charge, but sadly, Sophia was separated from the survivors in the season 2 premiere. When a horde of walkers ambushed the highway, Rick tried to hide Sophia in the woods nearby. They wouldn’t find her until the midseason premiere when she was revealed to be a walker contained inside Hershel Greene’s farm.
It was already a gut punch to learn that young Sophia was dead the entire time Carol and the rest of the group searched for her. The fact that they had to put a bullet in her head to give her a sense of peace was almost too much to handle. The death was also a bit of a surprise to fans since Sophia was alive and well in the comics at that point in the series. The change of direction was an attempt to shuffle around the story directions, veering away from the comics while bringing more challenges to other characters. Carol was obviously devasted as was Carl, Sophia’s closest friend among the survivors. Her death was additionally meant to hit Rick hard because he was the leader in place to protect everyone. More importantly, Sophia’s death gave Carol a different future in the TV show.
Carol & Sophia Switched Roles In The TV Adaptation
In Kirkman’s comics, Carol committed suicide while the survivor group was staying at the prison. Sophia, on the other hand, survived all 193 issues, becoming one of the fiercest survivors and the eventual wife of Carl. In the final issue, old man Carl lived with Sophia and their daughter in a world still attempting to rebuild society. While the TV series isn’t at that point yet, it did make the decision to keep Carol around, seeing as she’s only one of two original characters still around. In fact, she’s expected to survive until the end of the mothership series before moving to a spinoff alongside another long-time character–Daryl Dixon.
Despite the fact that Sophia’s fate on The Walking Dead didn’t match the character’s comic book storyline, the legacy of the figure lived one. Carol used the memory of her daughter as motivation to survive, even in the toughest of situations when she was ready to give up. The Lintz family also lived on in the series with the casting of Madison’s younger brother, Macsen, in the role of Henry, beginning in season 7 before older brother Matt, took over in season 9. Coincidentally, Henry served as the adopted son of Carol, allowing the brothers to share yet another connection with Madison.