‘The Walking Dead’ Producers Discuss Season 3 Finale & Fidelity to Comics

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the walking dead robert kirkman The Walking Dead Producers Discuss Season 3 Finale & Fidelity to Comics

[WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!]

The season 3 finale of The Walking Dead is right around the corner, and fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out what will happen in the inevitable clash between Rick and the Governor. If you’ve read the comics then you’ll know that the showdown occurs at the end of this particular story arc, and that things get very messy. If you haven’t read the comics, then be warned that the following article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for up to the end of issue 48.

The creator of the comic book series, Robert Kirkman, also serves as an executive producer on the show. He has previously said that he’s interested in keeping a healthy balance between adhering to the story of the comics and straying from them, saying that there are some events from the comics that need to be seen on the show, but that they’re also shaking things up so that fans of the comics will be kept on their toes.

In The Hollywood Reporter‘s recent interview with the producers of the show, Kirkman warns fans to brace themselves for the upcoming fight:

“Things are going to be pretty intense; it’s a huge conflict, and we’ve been building to it this entire season. There’s definitely going to be some dire consequences, and there will certainly be some casualties.”

Master of on screen gore effects Greg Nicotero directed last week’s episode, ‘This Sorrowful Life,’ and hints that he and his special effects team had a fair bit of extra work to do in the final episode:

“It’s going to get pretty bloody. We’ve spent a lot of time setting it up, and it’s not going to end well. Clearly, we’ve strayed a little bit [...] from the comic book because Lori and Judith don’t die together. That’s the trick of ‘The Walking Dead‘ – You never know. It’s kind of sad that nobody is safe, but we’ve already shown that in the first half of the season.”

David Morressey in The Walking Dead Prey The Walking Dead Producers Discuss Season 3 Finale & Fidelity to Comics

In the comics, Lori survived up until the final conflict before being shot in the back whilst attempting to flee, falling forwards and crushing baby Judith with the weight of her lifeless body. In the TV show, Lori died in childbirth and Carol took over the task of nursing Judith. With Nicotero’s description of Judith’s fate coming across as rather ominous, could we see a repeat of Lori’s tragic death from the comics, with Carol in her place?

Perhaps, or perhaps not. According to executive producer David Alpert:

“It’s going to surprise you, no doubt about it. We do some things that are a little bit different than in the comic. If you’ve read the comic, you don’t want to do the same thing. We’re going to do something that’s going to surprise and shock you while rewarding the fact that if you read the comic, you’re going to recognize all the milestones that were built into it.”

Gale Anne Hurd, another executive producer on the show, also echoed Alpert’s warning that the finale will shock fans of the show and the comics alike. It sounds like they’ve got a particularly powerful moment up their sleeves:

“I think there will be a couple of collective gasps in those episodes. There’s no way to predict what’s happening. With this level of cast, even when there’s action, it’s all character-based, so you’re really invested. We were doing music the other day and even though I knew what was coming, I still gasped.”

In most TV shows, the audience feels a sense of security in the fact that the writers need to preserve the status quo to a degree, meaning that there are certain characters who can be relied upon to survive no matter what gets thrown at them. The team behind The Walking Dead, however, have proven themselves to be as merciless as the post-apocalyptic world that they write, and no character – major or minor, young or old, good or bad, sick or strong, male or female – is safe.

Somewhat ironically, despite the fact that they get slain by the dozen, the only characters who are more or less safeguarded against elimination are the walking dead themselves; you can’t have a zombie show without zombies.

the walking dead comics vs show1 The Walking Dead Producers Discuss Season 3 Finale & Fidelity to Comics

Let’s look on the bright side, though. With the finale threatening to thin the ranks of the show’s cast, there is at least one new character from the comics who will step in before the end of this season to fill a gap. Also, while the writers’ willingness to stray from the comics means that some characters that fans thought were safe might not survive, there’s also a chance that characters who met an untimely end in issue 48 of the comic series might live to see another season. When asked if the Governor might make an appearance in season 4, Hurd replied mysteriously, “Do I want to keep David Morrissey? Yes! Do we? I can’t tell you.”

With The Walking Dead‘s equivalent of The Hunger Games approaching, which character would you most like to sponsor for survival, and who are you willing to sacrifice to the rising body count?

The Walking Dead season 3 finale airs Sunday, March 31st, 2013 @9pm on AMC.

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Source: THR

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  1. Ya I think carol might die too but what if What if Hershel survives the prison and like dale leaves early like he did in the comics especially since dale had his leg cut off

    • maybe

  2. As much as I dont want it to happen I could see Darryl (Dont attack me just yet) simply as his death would be THE BIGGEST SHOCKER THESE WRITERS COULD POSSIBLE PRODUCE. If he died I would be pissed but I would pause the show roll over and cry for 20 minutes (just long enough to see facebook spoilers)

    • that would SHOCK and also SUCK at the same time if it happened

  3. YOU CANNOT,,BETTER NOT, make the saeson finally tomorrr0w. this is so stupid. I want more wLKING DEAD, Im so mad. I want more, more more AHHHhhH MOOREEE>

    Love,
    Jackie, Brando
    PS-i love cheese.

    • Predictions…

      Rick, Carl, Glen, Maggie, Michone, Daryl, and Carol all survive.

      Herschel dies protecting Glen and/or Maggie.

      Beth and Judith die ala Lori style from the comic…shot randomly by Milton who was bullied into the fight by the Governor. Horrified, Milton then shoots and kills the Governor.

      Tyrese’s wife gets killed and he joins the group.

      Andrea is absent, still in the Governor’s dungeon.

      Endshot is Governor’s forces defeated, Rick’s group led back to Woodbury by Milton to release Andrea. Group hug.

      • It’s actually Tyrese’s sister (Sasha).

        But this is really the only theory that makes any friggin’ sense in these comments.

        • “sister” my bad :) It seems pretty obvious that Milton burned the Biter pits and has turned mostly from the Governor, but is still somehow under his control. He hasn’t broken from him yet though. Him finally turning and killing the Gov after being forced to “shoot the enemy” and arbitarily killing Beth and her falling on Judith will prob be the BIG moment in the finale. The show is “different” from the comic, but the basic story points are still there. It’s the characters that seem interchangeable.

          • This sounds like a solid theory. I’d predict about the same thing to happen.

        • He’s still banging her!

          • Judging by your name, I’d say that you believe incest is okay.

    • Chill. They are filming in May for Season 4. It’s gotta’ end for a bit. You’ll be okay until then.

    • im sorry to say that the finale is tomorrow.

    • You seem to be thinking backwards, if at all, in these emotional moments. Nobody decided to just pull the rug out and stop the show suddenly. They started when they did with the intention of making a certain number and then the season ends, it’s not a conspiracy to piss you off and deprive the fans. Plus they finished some time ago, so it’s a bit like threatening someone not to reveal what they already did long ago. Way too late to complain. Also not productive at all. Maybe you just meant “season finale already? That is so sad, cause I love that show!”. But what you said makes me wonder if you are old enough to watch zombies.

  4. I think it was suggested that Judith die, but if it’s a stray bullet to the chest then what? Will that be the big cliffhanger for the finally? Even so….Who does the mercy shot? I doubt it’d be Carl this time.

  5. I think some of Ricks group stays and sets a surprise ambush and have enlisted the walkers for help. I want to see some form of a gun battle between the two groups instead of Ricks group running and the Gov’s group shooting. I believe it will be Carol and the baby for the shock. Maybe Hershel will die but I really like his character and he functions as a voice of reason and Rick needs that sometimes. I think Tyreese may end up being able to warn Rick of the attack thus putting them together. I also wouldnt mind Andrea dying after a valiant fight. If they do keep her around the writers need to take her from this wishy washy always trying to solve peoples problems character to the BA sniper and strong leader from the books. I believe the core characters will be safe and Throne I would really like to see Michone developed further and having Milton around more. I hope they bring in characters like Abraham from the books in season 4 cause he is awesome. I guess we’ll all find out in less than 18 hours wooo! Then its on to Game of Thrones

    • I think Carol will be fighting instead of babysitting. Whatever happens I’m sure it will be great! and then YES! Game of Throne’s baby!

  6. Pretty sure Daryl dies trying to avenge his bro’. Would also be cool if they went “28 days later”(again, first episode cough*) and zombified the entire town(can’t recall its name though).

    I don’t really know what to expect other than Rick surviving. If he doesn’t survive, I’ll stop watching. I also hope for more sci-fi next season, like the episode where the scientist(friend of Carrey’s from The Truman Show) works on the cure in the military facility in Atlanta.

    Things we have yet to see that I want to see:

    - Where the contagion derives from. Who had it first and how.
    - If the human race survives

    ALSO, Can someone PLEASE shoot The Governor? He’s as annoying as they come.

  7. Well Andrea could die, although it might not provide much of a shock, but lets break it down. If they were to kill Rick I think that would effect the show for the future to the point that ratings may sour and the same thing with Daryl… When you have a long running showing Its hard to know if killing a main character will help the show. If you take away to many of the main cast you run the risk of bad ratings for the next season and It would no longer be the same show, you may have the zombies but you no longer have the cast you invested in.. so the question is why would you watch a show when all the cast has been replace by new cast? if Rick died who could take his place to the point that people would want to keep watching… If Rick died I really would stop watching because I think right now its getting to be a little stupid with every one dying. If Daryl dies I probably won’t watch the show as it airs I would wait till the season was over and then watch a few eps top see if I would like it still I don’t know I am kind of losing interest with to many death happening so fast.

    • Ever watch Dr. who? Every so often the Dr. Dies and then rejuvenates as a different looking Dr. It takes a while to get used to a new Dr. But before long you get caught up in the different style of this new Dr. The same could be done here to some extent. They could start the next season with a totally different cast of characters who started out in a different part of the country and tell their story of surviving. They could eventually have the people left with Rick’s group meet and perhaps join together.

      I don’t know how the comics go beyond the final show down at the prison, but in the comics there wasn’t much left to Rick’s group. Then again Tyrease wasn’t with the governor either so who knows. If the Governor goes then who knows what will happen between the others from Woodberry who discovered what he made them do to innocent people. Is there some way Tyrease can pull them together? Should be interesting…Unfortunately in might be a week or so before I can watch it

  8. DARYL CANNOT DIE.

    • But he will, maybe not now or later on but one day he will die just like Meryl did.

  9. Rick wont die neither will Carl. I think Hershal is one to go and they are going to play some angle with the baby just how they go about it is hard to say. I dont think they are going kill caorl because that would be to much strain on daryl just loosing his brother last week then carol this week as they have a closeness. Glenn and Maggie are up in the air as well as they just arent safe characters (if there really is such a thing). If they are following the angle of comics with small twists here and there for television captivation than there are really only 2 safe characters at all

  10. I have never read the comments but from what i hear of the lori and Judith death it would be a shocker. After lori died it really did show us that no one is safe. Thinking about it logically (and its just an opinion) if they do have the death of Judith I’m guessing it will be Beth and Judith as hershal wont let Beth fight. And carol may die too but she will go down fighting. The one thing i am worried about is deryl he is separated from the group and emotional over merle. That is my biggest fear that they kill him off. I really hope michonne lives and i would hate to see anything happen to carl don’t think rick would take it. Lets keep our fingers crossed that our favorites survive.

  11. If they do kill off Judith….My guess it’ll have to be Michonne who delivers the mercy shot so she doesn’t Zombie out. I think she’s the only one who wouldn’t hesitate because she would see it as a logical decision that had to be done and shut off her emotions like she seems to do really well. We probably wont know until next season though…Like the cliffhanger with Sophia.

    With all the killing they do of Walkers it’s obvious they’re desensatized, but still it would be tough killing a baby even if it was a Zombie….But Michonne didn’t hesitate killing the Governors girl and I don’t think she will here either….Providing she survives

    • Presumably if someone delivers a mercy kill to the baby then it is likely before zombiefication. It would be tough to get the baby from someone’s arms all the way to zombie before killing it, but I’d be down for zombie Judith for sure. So the question isn’t whether Michone will kill a zombie baby necessarily, but will she murder a human baby before it dies? That’s what Carl went through with his mom after all. He didn’t wait for her to turn. That would be extra cruel. Recall that poor dog in I Am Legend. Do the humane thing and murder that baby!

      • Not really. Remember when Andrea,s sister died? She waited for her to turn Zombie before she shot her. Interesting question though….If you chop of someone’s head once they die does it still return to a zombie state? Do they have to be zombies before they can be killed again? I don’t know if they’ve ever dealt with that…

        • Okay, so your point is that technically you can go ahead and wait for a friend or family member to have their consciousness stolen and individuality monster-raped out of their heads before you deliver a mercy kill? Yes, I suppose that has effectively been proven by the state of the world, witht having to cite a specific example, but it kinda takes all the “mercy” out of a mercy killing in my mind. Do parents want to wait while their kids become monsters before putting them down? It’s a personal thing of course, which is why Andrea made the gruesome choice to let her sister keep suffering and changing, risking not only further death and tragedy, but the administration of horror by a loved one. It seemed to me an irresponsibly dangerous and misguided choice to risk more death for an unclear payoff. Sure, not everybody wants to shoot their freshly scratched child in the head, but come on!

          Also there may be further revelations that will clarify, but the working understanding seems to be that yes, a dead head will have the potential to ZZombify, and of course a severed zombie head is still alive. A question raised here is whether a freshly turned head would even have the fuel and slow metabolism, etc. that feeds the zombie life. Maybe a freshly severed head would change over and die very quickly since it isn’t being fed or powered by anything, and cannot find food. The gov was probably feeding those heads, just as he was feeding the walking walkers he kept around. Killing heads is policy, but not necessarily important. Raising and answering more questions would be cool.

          One of the best examples I can think of is the dog in that will Smith movie “I am Legend.”. It would have been more humane, given forethought and opportunity, to put the animal to sleep rather than wait for it to “lose it’s soul” so to speak and then strangle it. But that was a new, hectic, and tragic reality, so it suited the uncertainty at the time fr it to go downthe way it did. Another time that doctor might have a vastly different approach to killing a friend. BTW, that film has an illuminating alternate ending that makes the whole movie better!check it out!

  12. I’m sooooooo team Hers Hal. in this case I really hope its beauty before age. Mr. hers Hal is awesome.

    • HEck yes! It’s bad enough we lost poor old Dale, the voice of reason, conscience and morality! Maybe he had to die to initiate a new time of strife and darkness, but I was bummed to lose him. Losing the only other old guy when he is a trusted confidant, family member, and one-legged burden all in one… That would be a bummer. Just kill his boring daughter off! She’s not bad, just inessential. Besides, Carl was never gonna hit that before he could grow a beard anyway, so there’s plenty of time to find him another love interest. I’d vote for her to die before Carol or Andrea. Though I agree with the idea that Andrea needs to either evolve beyond this era of her character, or just die at the climax of this arc. Losing the baby seems like a no brainier, if you’ll excuse the pun.

  13. World be cool to see the governor turned to one of michonne’s pets he deserves it.

    • lol…imagine if that turns out to be true?

  14. Andrea is dead. Wow.

  15. Oh, my bad. Gov goes psycho and kills Woodbury. Milton and Andrea kill eachother. Gov gets away. Sorry, but this Season Finale sucked. Should’ve seen the writing on the wall from the previous two episodes where basically nothing happened. Ya, there was Merle’s death, but c’mon. Too many darn commercials too. Hope next season actually decides to tell a story. Thank goodness Game of Thrones premiere rocked.

  16. A comment on the cool article… I don’t believe for a second that “no one is safe.”. They have done a better job with this idea than any other show, but I never once remotely suspected the death of Rick or Carl. I still don’t. Though I haven’t read the comics… Regardless, to be truly unsafe we need deaths that aren’t in the comics.

    Also, not knowing, reading or watching the Hunger Games, I can’t help but wonder why in the world the article frames the discussion in HG terms. Isn’t there enough to say already without the shift to another franchise? Seems like saying “in Star Trek terms, who is the most logical person for zombiefication?”. Huh? As Lewis Black might say “… And I am confused.”. I’ll get over it though. Thanks fo the article!

  17. I don’t think the Season Finale was a big shocker at all, I do think that nothing has happened in the last few shows except A-LOT of commercials and hype leading to the finale. They have drug out this whole season with nothing and now we have to wait until October… I think I have had enough of this show..

  18. I was really dissapointed by the season 3. I expected better for this season because in the comic it’s a major turning point for most of the characters, physically and psychologically. The characters took a totally different psychological path, some less than other but still…

    With the death of Andrea and the others survivor from woodbury now bunkering in the prison There is now TWO walking dead uniserve ( in my eyes) : the serie and the comic. Unfortunately, I won’t continue to watch the serie because the serie do not represent anymore, to my eyes, the walking dead universe. That said, it’s just my point of view and for those that will continue to watch the show, I wish you a good show.

  19. Wow, big let down. I haven’t read the comics but apparently Andrea’s character is pretty bad ass? In the tv version she is ever so lame. I grew to hate her constant naïveté. “Can’t we all just get along?” And “the governor can’t be all bad.” 2 themes they shoved down my throat via Andrea which caused me to feel nothing for her character when she died. I thought they were trying to create another “moment” like Lori & Carl but they had already worked so hard at making Andreas character so unlikable that I was glad to see her go.

    Aside from that, the war, wasn’t much and joining the 2 camps confused me as to how many people existed in Woodbury I the first place. From the other episodes it was portrayed that there was a whole town full of people. Yet when they drove back to the prison it was just a bus full. Which is it? This episode didn’t seem like a finale at all.

    So I guess the Gov and his 2 now dumbfounded, uncertain henchmen just find a new town or cruise the country ?
    Either way they will pop up next season.

    My prediction, being that the dynamic of the show is about a small group…something catastrophic happens that the new “team members from Woodbury” all die. Lets face it, are they going to make a new season with 30 relevant town member characters?
    Something has to give.

    • The Guvnor will go back for a 2nd attack on the prison and that’s when all those woodbury people will disappear from the show and won’t need to be mentioned and will leave the main group.

  20. I didn’t mind the finale on one condidtion….the Governor is back in season 4 and the climatic prison battle occurs….It’s too much of a major part of the series to completely forgo it in the tv show. I’ll be too disappointed to enjoy the show anymore if they leave it out of season 4. So I’ll watch season 4 to see if they put it in there but if leave it out I’m done after season 4 even though I enjoy the show. The disappointment will be too much.

  21. In a word that’s how i felt watching the finale….deprived. After a few watered down episodes thru the season we were built up to believe we would see an epic battle and all we got was a very…very watered down finale. I was really bummed, after the last 2 seasons and there finale’s which left you wondering and wanting more, i felt cheated. Looks like “April Fool’s” came a day early….

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