Why The Walking Dead's Jadis Is Such A Great Villain, According To Pollyanna McIntosh

jadis walking dead

When The Walking Dead returns for Season 8, Rick & Co. will be targeting the big bad Negan and his Saviors -- assuming Negan is sticking around, that is -- but the threats definitely don't stop at leather and barb wire. Now that Rick knows he never really had the goodwill of Jadis behind him, we'll likely see her take on more of a nefarious role, and when CinemaBlend's Adam Holmes recently spoke with actress Pollyanna McIntosh, she explained just what makes Jadis such a great villain.

She's a great adapter. I think that's her real strength. I think that's why she's in the position she's in. She's a real adapter to what's happening. She's got a great presence of mind, and she can judge and take in a lot of different information at the same time, and make decisions that somebody else might not have the guts to make...She's a great leader as well, and people trust her. She's gained a strong following within her group, and she's proved herself time and time again.

I love that Pollyanna McIntosh is looking at Jadis' role in this world with such practicality and pragmatism, which is pretty necessary, since she entered the show as a non-comic character meant to serve as a secondary villain beneath the source material's greatest weapon, Negan. That tyrannical foe actually serves as a fantastic example of how sensible and adaptive Jadis can be, considering she is co-existing in this world without either being indoctrinated into his "We are Negan" philosophy or having her Scavenger group suffer the same supply sacrifices as the other communities. Not even the serene and welcoming Ezekiel could pull that deal off. (I suppose the show could "reveal" some explanation for this, but whatever.)

As well, the concept of being a good leader may not be imperative to being a great villain in all walks of fiction, but in The Walking Dead's faction-filled society, any remaining loners and wallflowers almost definitely aren't long for survival. We don't know how the Scavengers came to be, of course, but Jadis serves as the first head female antagonist on The Walking Dead, so one imagines her rise to the top was a striking one.

Now that Pollyanna McIntosh is a series regular on The Walking Dead, her screentime and narrative implementation should see a stark increase, so that offers showrunner Scott Gimple and his creative team the opportunity to explore the word-mincing Jadis and what makes her tick. This could happen via a flashback depicting the junkyard takeover, or even just an expository conversation with someone where she's not making false agreements the whole time.

To that end, I'm particularly intrigued by the actress bringing up trust during her talk with CinemaBlend during Portland's Heroes & Villains Fan Fest. Since she clearly double-crossed Team Family with her Negan-dealing, I really want to know how and why so many people ended up trusting and following her in the first place. Was she different and less menacing at one point? Or will she end up dicking over all of her current followers, too? (Perhaps before finding a new group to lead.)

We'll all be a few months older when The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 8, as it'll pop up at some point in October. In the meantime, check out what else Pollyanna McIntosh told us about Jadis, and you can find lots of other shows cropping up in the primetime hours with our summer TV premiere guide.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.