On Sunday, AMC wrapped up this season of ‘The Walking Dead’ in quite an unexpected fashion. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the last episode of the third season contained the most human deaths in the whole history of the series thus far. Not just human deaths, but major character deaths as well. Creator, writer, and executive Robert Kirkman and company sure did throw some curveballs at their audience. Sure, some liked it and some didn’t, but one has to admit that things were quite unexpected.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman opened up about a few of the major deaths this season in great detail.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
First, after saying that the plan was to always carry the Governor’s story into season four, he explained why he gunned down the innocent citizens of Woodbury:
“It was really trying to build on that self-destructive moment when you’re seeing that this guy who seemingly had it all together — who seemingly was capable of running this town and rebuilding a civilization to some extent — actually didn’t have it together at all and can very easily be frustrated to the point of completely ruining everything he had going. It’s a downfall, to a certain extent. It is a resolution to this season. The Governor is without all of the things he had before and it is supposed to be showing just how much this guy has spiraled out of control because of his interactions with Rick and the other people in Rick’s community.”
Next, he went on about Andrea’s demise, which was one of the biggest things that caught me by surprise in the final episode. Andrea gets a bad rep from fans, but as a fan of the comics, I know what she becomes. However, Kirkman and his team decided to veer away from that as far as possible, despite the difficult decision to do so:
“That was huge. We spent many months of figuring that out and coming to that decision. It’s never an easy thing to kill a character and that one was definitely tough, because Laurie Holden is such a huge part of the show and it is quite a departure from the comic books. I can imagine there are a good number of fans that are frustrated by it and heartbroken over it and that’s what we’re going for.
We want people to be invested in these characters. We want every death to be as emotional as possible. When you see season 4 and you see how that death has affected Rick and how it’s changed all these characters and what’s come from that death, I think it will all make sense.”
Then, he went on to talk about (and I can’t believe that I’m going to say this) one of the most heart-breaking deaths to date. The creator reveals the thought process behind killing off Merle Dixon:
“That was a huge debate. As I say, every death is an important decision. When it came down to it, it was everything that he does for Daryl. We had seen Daryl’s character grow so much without Merle and it was a lot of fun seeing him revert back to old behavior and seeing how having his brother around affected him. But in the end we felt that losing that character would activate the Daryl character in so many different and interesting ways that it seemed almost essential to the show. We also kind of made Merle a hero on the way out. That’s what that character’s journey ended up being and we thought that was very interesting.”
Finally, to close things out, he touched on what we can all expect in the upcoming season four, which is about halfway written at this point:
“Season 4 is all about change. We’re going to see a lot has changed in the prison. I think a lot has changed with these characters. I think we’re going to see a very different Rick with very different motives and we’ll see how this conflict with Woodbury and the death of Andrea has affected everybody. And we’ll see a lot of new elements, as we do on every season of the Walking Dead. It’s going to be exciting and different and cool but it’ll still have zombies with it. It’ll still have the things that everybody loves.”
This season sure had it’s ups and downs, but in the end, though I wasn’t fully satisfied with the end of the season, I think that the whole team behind ‘The Walking Dead’ succeeded in creating a whole new experience that can’t be found anywhere else on television. I’m definitely interested in seeing where things go from here on out.
To find out Kirkman’s feelings on Milton, the changes ahead for young Carl, and more, be sure to check out the whole interview over at EW.
What are your thoughts on the season finale of ‘The Walking Dead’? How did you feel about the various deaths near the end? Are you happy with the creative direction that the show has taken? Share your feelings and be heard in the comments section.