1. Georgie’s Backstory
As far as we know, Georgie’s approach to contacting communities starts with inciting a bartering scenario, in which food and musical phonographs are traded for a civilization-building manifesto of sorts — absolutely no spoken word records, though. Georgie was dressed well enough, and in clean clothes, and five seconds into her introduction, it was clear she is unlike almost every other late-stage survivor we’ve met over the years. So where did she come from? Here’s what Jayne Atkinson told me about how Georgie’s background was approached.
With very broad brushstrokes. I talked with Scott Gimple — that’s where she comes from: his head and his imagination — and he keeps things very close to the chest. I think what was written on the page gave me a lot of clues. But he sort of plumped that up with the idea that she’s somebody who has spent a lot of time in research, studying history, that she almost seems professorial, and very wise. [She] is passionate about civilization. So, one could imagine she might have been a teacher at a university. One could imagine that she has, from a very young girl, studied and been passionate about civilization. And that she is not afraid; for wherever she comes from, she’s not afraid. He didn’t really go into much more detail than that, but he did really infuse me with the sense that she has a lot of knowledge, and that she has some power, because she’s not afraid.
Indeed, Georgie comes across very much like someone used to standing in front of large groups of people and convincing them that what she’s saying needs to be heard. And if her own profession was within education, then perhaps her hobbies included engineering and construction, or maybe one or both of her parents were involved in city planning and infrastructure. Not that windmills and watermills are super-modern ways of assisting society, but knowing someone within her then-local government would possibly allow her access to those kinds of plans and schematics. Whatever Georgie’s past actually is, Atkinson formed her own further assumptions about the character’s history in order to bring her to life.
What I wanted to bring, what I wanted to emanate, was a very confident, robust and gentle human being. Does that make sense? Somebody who, if you’re with her long enough, you’re gonna break down and want to know what she’s about, and move out of fear, and into curiosity. That’s what I wanted to communicate. So I made decisions that wherever she’s from, she is not surviving, she’s thriving. She has created a world where she’s from where she’s safe, and she has knowledge. So that was a lot of fun for me. I hope the creators are happy with her. [laughs]
Georgie, Hilda and Midge are a lot more calm than most people would be in this kind of a situation. They were the ones who initiated communication, so they’re obviously confident about their tactics’ combined success rate. There’s always the chance that Georgie is just full of shit, of course, and is attempting to trick Maggie in some way. But she’s a little too trusting and pragmatic for us to automatically suspect ulterior motives.