Angela Kang, the show’s creator, has discussed what distinguishes Lance Hornsby from prior adversaries on The Walking Dead. Power hungry antagonists have frequently threatened the core group of survivors in AMC’s zombie series in the past.
SPOILERS for episode 17 of season 11 of The Strolling Useless are ahead. This pattern is continued by Lance Hornsby, who represents a militant group that wants to see the heroes of The Walking Dead eliminated. Lance was introduced as the Commonwealth’s deputy governor and spokeswoman, but it soon became apparent that he had his own aspirations and intended to climb the political ranks in his hometown. This strategy was put into action by Lance, who draped Commonwealth banners over the walls of Alexandria, Hilltop, and Oceanside at the end of season 11 part 2. The most recent episode demonstrates that Lance is self-assured enough to put on a smile despite being threatened with a knife by Daryl.
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The Walking Dead’s showrunner, Angela Kang, elaborated on Lance Hornsby’s distinctions from earlier bad guys in an interview with TV Line. Lance might be a scary individual, but Kang claimed that he doesn’t always come across as such. See Kang’s justification below:
“I believe that he represents a unique form of hazard. A number of the different villains that we’ve had have been way more like ‘I’ll kill you all’ proper from the beginning. They were like, ‘I don’t care!’
“He’s not like that. He’s way more this insidious hazard of he’s your pal till he activates you.”
Lance’s current strategy seems to be to prove to the Commonwealth that he is more than just a comforting presence for newcomers by leveraging the conquered communities. Sebastian has been sending the less fortunate residents of the neighborhood out to scrounge for money, so it appears Pamela may use him as a scapegoat to deflect public pressure away from her and Sebastian.
Despite the fact that Pamela’s intervention might have stopped him, Lance’s status as The Walking Dead’s last antagonist suggests that the remaining seven episodes will be filled with surprises. Given how much Lance has changed from his less villainous comic book counterpart, it’s interesting to speculate about where the series will take him and where he might end up.