‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4: Does Aunt Lydia Love the Handmaids?

Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) stands in a brown uniform and smirks in 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

What happens to Aunt Lydia in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?

The women of Gilead are the queens of gaslighting. Whether they’re Aunts or Wives, their constant abuse of the Handmaids is harrowing. And then, they downplay the abuse and say it was all in the name of their faith. There are new examples of this in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, although viewers haven’t been at a shortage of proof throughout the series. And no one causes more harm and confusion than Aunt Lydia, whose actions are challenged in a new way this season.

[Spoiler alert: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 details ahead.]

Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

What happens to Aunt Lydia in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?

Ann Dowd’s Aunt Lydia is one of the most terrifying characters, but she sees herself as pure. And that’s part of what makes her so scary. Lydia was center stage in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1 as viewers got to know what Gilead was like. The scenes in The Red Center (the Handmaid training centers) are unforgettable. The women suffer horrible abuse in their training, and the abuse continues when they get their assignments.

Lydia and the other Aunts punish even minor disobediences with physical harm. They tell the women it’s to help them learn and make them better servants of God, but it’s really just torturing people into compliance so they’re too scared to flee. Some of the atrocities Lydia inflicted upon the women were cutting out Janine’s eye and having surgeons force Emily into genital mutilation.

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Lydia also forces the women to murder people Gilead has sentenced to death. When Lydia’s not orchestrating physical or mental torture, she’s telling the Handmaids how much she loves them and has their best interests at heart. Confusing, to say the least.

RELATED: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Ann Dowd Channeled Aunt Lydia While Threatening Someone in a Supermarket

Does Aunt Lydia change?

The most contradictory part of Lydia’s treatment is she protects the lives of the Handmaids to no end. The Handmaids are, of course, Gilead’s most precious resource given they’re the only fertile women in the country. To continue raising the birth rate, they need the Handmaids. But there’s something extremely dark about Lydia’s care for these women.

Whenever they reach a breaking point and retaliate against the mistreatment, Lydia swings down her punishment. And her methods get worse and worse every time (just wait and see what methods she resorts to

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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