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'The Handmaid's Tale': Upcoming Episode Focusing on Aunt Lydia Might Make You Change Your Mind About Her

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various things, including celebrities and entertainment.

Aunt Lydia from "The Handmaid's Tale"

Aunt Lydia from "The Handmaid's Tale"

Some of you have watched The Handmaid's Tale since it premiered on April 26, 2017, with three episodes shown on the same date. Since then, only one episode is seen on Hulu each Wednesday. The series is now in its third season.

The television show is based on Margaret Atwood's book by the same name. The American dystopian drama web television series was created by Bruce Miller. Elizabeth Moss plays June, one of its main characters. The 36-year-old actress is one of the show's twelve producers.

The series is named after the biblical account of Sarah having Hagar as her handmaid who she allowed to sleep with her husband Abraham to bear them a child (Genesis 16). The Hulu series is about a dystopian future wherein fertile women are captured and become handmaids to barren wives.

The series is popular among both men and women. When James Holzhauser was on Jeopardy! in the Spring of 2019, host Alex Trebek asked, "Who is the aunt on The Handmaid's Tale in charge of the handmaids?" Without hesitating, Holzhauser answered, "Aunt Lydia." The 35-year-old contestant went on to make 33 appearances on the popular ABC game show. His total winnings came to $2,464,216.

Upcoming Episode

Up until now, fans have seen Aunt Lydia as a vicious and evil woman because of the way she treats the women under her authority. She kicks them and beats them with her cane as well as doing other evil things to them. In previous episodes, the woman in charge of the handmaids has done some disturbing things.

  • Aunt Lydia beat Janine with her cane.
  • She was responsible for having Janine's right eye removed as a punishment.
  • She was instrumental in encouraging handmaids to be stoned to death.
  • She agreed to the mutilation of Emily.
  • In the second season, viewers held their breath during the Fenway Park mass hanging stunt.
  • Also in Season 2, handmaids were burned one by one with a gas flame because of June's disobedience.

Aunt Lydia has done a lot of evil things to cause viewers to hate her, but in an upcoming episode, people might change their mind about her when they get to see how her life was before Gilead. Ann Dowd plays Aunt Lydia and holds one of the highest posts to ensures "her girls" fulfill their duty to conceive. Dowd says what fans will see will no doubt change their opinion about her character.

The eighth episode of Season 3 that airs in July will have a great deal of information about Aunt Lydia that has never been revealed before. The 63-year-old actress said, "I can tell you without exaggeration it was eight of the finest days of my life. If I talk, I'm going to cry." The flashbacks about Aunt Lydia just might make viewers cry as well after seeing the lengthy portrayal of the woman who was not always evil.

Viewers have a distaste for the character because of her actions so far. When Emily, played by Alexis Bledel, pushed her down the steps in Season 2 finale, social media erupted with cheers. Some people wrote they had never been so excited. Aunt Lydia recovered and when Season 3 returned, she was in a wheelchair. Now she is walking with a cane that she uses for more things than just walking.

Aunt Lydia  and June

Aunt Lydia and June

What Viewers Will Find Out About Aunt Lydia

So, what will viewers find out about Aunt Lydia that will make them change their mind about her? Through flashbacks, fans will see and understand that Aunt Lydia has not always been the way she is now. The saying that "hurt people hurt people" is appropriate in Aunt Lydia's case. The actress is convinced that fans will see her differently after they get to know her story and find out how she has been hurt in the past.

Here are just a few of the things viewers should expect to find out through flashbacks.

  • Before Gilead, Lydia was a schoolteacher. We will see her in that role.
  • The writers worked their magic on providing flashbacks that would soften Lydia's character instead of adding more fuel to the fire.
  • The producers and the actress firmly believe viewers will change their perspective of her after they know more about her background.
  • Viewers are expected to better understand why Lydia is a strict follower and enforcer of the teachings of Gilead.
  • While the eighth episode will focus mostly on Aunt Lydia, it will not explain her entire story, but it will help viewers fill in some of the gaps.
  • The actress admits she has a complicated relationship with her girls. She admits that she tortures and brutalizes them, but the punishments have always been combined with love for them.
Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd

Who Is Ann Dowd?

Ann Dowd is not a newcomer to the screen. She has been acting since 1985. She has quite of list of credits for television, films, and Broadway plays. However, her role on The Handmaid's Tale is what she is better known for these days, especially after she won an Emmy in 2017 for her role as Aunt Lydia.

Dowd is made up to look much older than her 63 years. Her mean attitude also makes her look older. She is rather attractive in real life and in some of her other roles including Philadelphia and Compliance. The actress is married to Lawrence Arancio, and the couple frequently works together as acting coaches. They live in New York City with their three children: Liam, Emily, and Trust. Her oldest is 26-year-old Liam who is on the autistic spectrum.