Since ‘The Walking Dead’ made it’s return on AMC last month, Rick Grimes and the rest of the inhabitants of the prison have had their hands full. From a killer virus to a literal killer in their midst, these survivors certainly have not had an easy time. However, there has been one looming question that fans have been wondering since season four began: Where is the Governor? After terrorizing the group last season, we had not seen or heard from the maniacal madman played by David Morrissey since he made his getaway to fight another day (although he did make a brief appearance on last Sunday’s episode).

To answer that question, the show’s producers Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the villain’s noticeable absence. The creator and executive producer started things off by saying that we needed some space from the eye-patched evildoer:

“We’ve just devoted an entire season to the conflict of the Governor and [new showrunner] Scott Gimple came in and was like, ‘You know what? I’m sick of the Governor.’ He actually said that. It’s not that we don’t like that character; it’s just that we needed to give that character a break. Going right back into that would seem like more retread of season three, and that’s the thing we don’t want to do.”

After explaining that his existence out there in the world adds yet another layer of tension for the characters in the story, Kirkman continues by saying that the brutal events of the season three finale have changed the man once known as Philip Blake, but he’s not saying how just yet:

“The Governor is going to see quite a leap in who he is and what his motives are. The Governor that we saw at the end of season three was this homicidal maniac who lost control of his town, and we haven’t seen him for a long time. He’s been stewing, and we may be seeing a very different Governor when we finally do catch up to him. We like to keep people guessing, and he definitely will return this season. Just when you think things are getting to a breaking point, that’s when the Governor layer will be thrown in to make things that much more deadly and dangerous. It’s going to be a really big, memorable moment in the show.”

Finally, Gimple weighs in by reminding us that this character has many sides to him and we’re not so sure which one we’re going to get when he comes back eventually:

“What the Governor has done weighs upon him; that is the first time he has done something like that. When the Governor comes back, it’s going to be in a very significant way but in a way that we significantly exploit the character and go even deeper into who he is. Because who the hell is he? He has his public face, he has his private face. We know a great deal about him, but we don’t know the truth. When all is said and done, is he the guy who enjoys being a leader and being the salvation to people? Is he this tortured guy who needs to stare at the heads of the men and women he’s killed? Which one is he?”

There is a ton of mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the Governor after the fall of Woodbury, but he surely hasn’t forgotten what Rick, Michonne, and the whole group did to him, so we’re definitely bound to see him emerge from the shadows once again. It’s just a matter of when and knowing this show, it probably won’t be when our heroes are prepared and ready to fight.

What do you think The Governor has been doing since we last saw him in the season three finale of ‘The Walking Dead’? Are you looking forward to the character making a comeback? Have you missed seeing David Morrissey every week on the show, or did you too need a break from him? Let us know in the comment section.