This Walking Dead article contains spoilers.
One of The Walking Dead season 10‘s central mysteries involves the voice on the other side of Eugene’s radio. Throughout the season, Eugene has been talking to a woman named Stephanie (voiced by Margot Bingham) from a settlement in Charleston, West Virginia (as revealed in the episode “Morning Star”). We know very little about her on the show beyond that.
Fortunately, we know quite a bit about Stephanie thanks to the comic book source material from Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. While it’s likely that the TV series will make some changes to Stephanie’s backstory — and it already has since the TV universe suggests she’s from West Virginia instead of her comic book origin of Ohio — there’s a good chance we’ll get a version of the character similar to her comic book counterpart.
So what do we know about this mysterious woman on the radio? For one thing, Stephanie is the bridge that leads the main characters to the next location of the comic series: the Commonwealth, a massive settlement of 50,000 survivors with its own government, army, facilities, and even a sports arena.
The Commonwealth is also the setting of the final arc of the comic, dealing with the question of how society will rebuild itself after years of survivors fighting among themselves. Can humanity bring back civilization as it once was? The Commonwealth storyline challenges the idea of digging up an image of the past and instead suggests that humans must figure out a new way to co-exist in order to prevent our systems from breaking down again. It’s perhaps Kirkman’s strongest work of social commentary in the series.
So where does Stephanie fit into all of this? Well, she’s the Commonwealth radio operator who sets up the meeting that will eventually lead Eugene, Michonne, Magna, Yumiko, Siddiq, and Juanita from the comics to discovering the Ohio settlement. Of course, with Siddiq dead and Michonne actor Danai Gurira set to leave the show, the people involved with this meeting will likely be different on the TV series.
The meeting itself has already been set. In episode 11, “Morning Star,” Stephanie agrees to meet with Eugene at a rendezvous point between their settlements. The radio has been destroyed since then, burned to a crisp during the Whisperer attack on the Hilltop in episode 12, “Walk With Us,” which means that making the rendezvous will be Eugene’s last chance to talk to Stephanie. We know that episode 14, “Look at the Flowers,” and episode 15, “The Tower,” will deal with Eugene traveling to the rendezvous point. “The Tower” even teases the introduction of another character from the comics, Juanita Sanchez aka Princess, but that’s an explainer for another time.
Where the show will go once Eugene makes face-to-face contact with the Commonwealth is anyone’s guess. In the comics, Stephanie isn’t even allowed to go meet Eugene, replaced instead by a Commonwealth bookkeeper named Lance Hornsby and a group of soldiers. It’s only later, within the walls of the Commonwealth, that Eugene is able to speak to Stephanie. The two eventually become romantic.
It remains to be seen whether the show will make any changes to Stephanie’s role in the story or if it will stick to the source material in this case. Until then, you can read how the rest of the Whisperer War will play out before the show moves on to its version of the Commonwealth storyline.