Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 6 follow.
For months, fans have been wondering who the new female leader of a new group on The Walking Dead would be after news of a casting call for such a role surfaced over the summer.
“Brion is an educated, pokerfaced leader who has a superior air and does not let his/her motives be known,” the casting call said. “Brion uses as few words as possible and keeps his/her emotions in check — we do see amusement, annoyance, displeasure…Brion just doesn’t wear their emotions on their sleeve; he/she is confident, quiet, and chiefly concerned with how anything may benefit him/her and those he/she knows.”
Instantly, fans suspected the character to be Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers from The Walking Dead comics. Though showrunner Scott Gimple tells ComicBook.com the Whisperers may arrive earlier than expected, the new leader was not Alpha.
Wait no longer, the character has been revealed.
On Sunday night, Tara and Heath’s supply run (which started late in Season 6) was revisited. It did not go as planned, though. Tara found herself washing up on shore and being discovered by Cindy, the only remaining member of a to-be-discovered community who appears to have sympathy and remorse for others. The woman who found Tara does report to a quite hostile leader, though, as Natania calls the shots for her group.
Natania is the leader of a community called Oceanside. The group is known well to comic book fans but has been altered a bit for television. First of all, the community’s introduction came much earlier in the TV series than it did in Robert Kirkman’s books. It was issue #139 which first saw Oceanside on the pages — the show is otherwise at a point in the story equivalent to around issue #108 at best, though it has been adding new story and telling others out of order.
Secondly, the Oceanside community is not deprived of men in the comics. The TV show, however, has already killed the men of the community as the Oceanside group credits their deaths to the Saviors.
In any case, Natania is clearly the leader of Oceanside as she sits at the head of the table and delegates orders to those around her.
Natania is played by Deborah May. Prior to The Walking Dead, May is best known for her roles in The Kid, Nurse Betty, Jonny Be Good, and Rage of Angels. With 60 credits to her name on IMDb, the actress also appeared recently in The Last Ship and Last Man Standing.
May’s Natania is not one which we can predict the future for based on The Walking Dead comics. Not only has Oceanside been beefed up for television but her character is one which does not exist on those pages, like several other popular faces from the TV series.