Rick holds Merle at gunpoint from Season 1

Ever since the redneck badass Merle cut off his own hand to escape the walkers and disappeared back in season 1 of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, fans have been asking for his return. It was even speculated by many fans that Merle would return in the role of the villainous Governor when the character eventually made the jump from comics to the screen.

Merle returned for a brief appearance in the season two episode ‘Chupacabra’ but only as a fevered vision in the mind of Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus). And when David Morrissey was cast for the role of The Governor, the hope that Merle would return began to fade. But many fans held out hope that Merle would surface yet… and now we know!

Actor Michael Rooker, who plays Merle, was at Wondercon this past weekend to discuss the upcoming videogame ‘Lollipop Chainsaw ’, to which he lends his voice talents. Of course, fans wouldn’t let Rooker get through the panel without bringing up ‘The Walking Dead’ and the fate of Merle. Since AMC is usually so secretive about ‘The Walking Dead’ Rooker shocked fans by revealing that Merle will indeed be returning in season three of the series. Of course, Rooker couldn’t say much about how or what role Merle will play upon his return, but he did say that he had to lose twenty pounds for the role.

It would be interesting if Merle would be found imprisoned by the Governor since that would explain his emaciated state. Either way, Merle’s return is sure to throw a monkey wrench in Daryl’s journey of self-discovery as he seeks to find his humanity and his place within the group.

What do you think about Merle returning to ‘The Walking Dead’? Comment below and start speculating as to how he’ll appear and what might happen when he does. And, as always, stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Walking Dead’ updates as we get them.