Ann Dowd Says 'The Handmaid's Tale' Fans Are All Mispronouncing Aunt Lydia's Name


The Handmaid's Tale viewers know very well that you do not want to be on Aunt Lydia's bad side, but according to Ann Dowd, most fans of the show are getting her name wrong. The actress told Vulture that The Handmaid's Tale fans are mispronouncing Aunt Lydia's name, and also gave an update on whether or not we would be seeing her villainous character come back next season.

No, it is actually not the Lydia part that fans are mispronouncing. According to Ann Dowd, a lot of the Handmaid's Tale fans are not saying "Aunt" in the way that they should be. Since the series is set in Boston, Massachusetts (albeit a post-apocalyptic Boston) and Dowd herself happens to be from Boston as well, she pointed out that the accurate pronunciation of "Aunt" would be a Boston-inflected "Ahnt." Not "Ant" or "Awnt," as many people would pronounce the word. Dowd explained that to be completely true to the character, Aunt Lydia's name should be pronounced "Ahnt" Lydia.

I say 'Ahnt' Lydia, definitely ... I just figure, to each his own, but I quite agree with you. It should be 'Ahnt.' And I’m going to make that point. It’s 'Ahnt.' I’m going to make sure that gets cleared up.

OK, so now we know how to properly pronounce Aunt Lydia's name, but isn't it a bit too late for that? After all, the second season of The Handmaid's Tale ended with what seemed to be Aunt Lydia's death at the hands of the fed-up Emily. When we last saw Aunt Lydia, Emily had stabbed her in the back, pushed her down the stairs, and kicked her unmoving body repeatedly. After that brutal scene, most fans were left assuming that Aunt Lydia is gone for good, but executive producer Warren Littlefield revealed last month that Aunt Lydia surprisingly did survive Emily's attack.

Ann Dowd said that Warren Littlefield and showrunner Bruce Miller both assured her beforehand that Emily's attack would not be Aunt Lydia's death scene, meaning that her strict authoritarian character will rise again in Season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale... and probably become even more brutal after the attempted murder. Dowd made the comparison to her other most-iconic character: Patti Levin from The Leftovers. Dowd said that when she found out Aunt Lydia was actually still alive, it was similar to her experience with Patti, who had been killed in the first season of The Leftovers but still continued to be a major character as a figment of the protagonist's mind for the following two seasons.

So The Handmaid's Tale fans can look forward to a lot more Aunt Lydia in the future. Although Aunt Lydia is often considered one of the show's clearest villains, Ann Dowd said that she gets into Aunt Lydia's mindset by tapping into the character's central conviction that although the gifts god gave the world are now gone, if she continues to take an extremely strong stance in her role, then there is hope that balance can once again be restored to the world.

Hulu has already picked up a third season of The Handmaid's Tale, which will likely premiere around April 2019.