Robert Kirkman, creator of Image's "The Walking Dead" comic book series and an executive producer of AMC's "The Walking Dead" TV series, commented about the death of one of the series' major characters during the Season Three Finale "Welcome To The Tombs", as well as Season Four spoilers :
Female characters will take a central role in Season Four," said Kirkman.
About the death of 'Andrea' (Laurie Holden) in the Season Finale, Kirkman explained that "It was definitely something that weighted upon us heavily. The unfortunate thing is that you’re not really going to see why this was a good decision and good for the show until season four.
"We thought having that tragic end to her story line — having 'Andrea' work so hard to save these people of 'Woodbury' and find a peaceful resolution to this conflict was really something worthy of the character.
"It’s also something that changes the mindset of 'Rick' (Andrew Lincoln) and alters a lot of the characters and their modes of operation moving into the fourth season.
"It seemed like the right thing to do at the right time. It was something Glen Mazzara introduced in the writing of the last few episodes. It's something that was debated quite a bit. There was a lot of opposition in the writers’ room. I bounced back and forth between 'We really shouldn’t kill her' and 'this is a good idea'. In the end it all came together and we decided to go for it. It was definitely something that divided the room to a certain extent.
"We’ve got a lot of work to do with the 'Governor' (David Morrissey) next season. Having him be that diabolical and sinister will serve his character moving forward and that was a pretty important and defining moment for him that will pay off in the fourth season.
"We’ve definitely got more story to tell with that guy. I always liked the idea of seeing him again and not having a clear resolution to that conflict.
"Rick and the group are still at the prison and the Governor is still out there. There's more ground to mine.
"Knowing the Governor isn't dead is going to weigh on these characters when we come back in season four and we’ll have to see where things go. It’s going to be different in a lot of ways.
"We’ll see a very different 'Rick Grimes' for one. His experiences against the Governor and with the various things that happened to him in season three are informing his character in huge ways.
"We’ll see a lot of familiar elements from season three: we’ll see the prison, Rick and his group are still in the same place but those elements are all going to be radically different. I can’t really get into it but season four is going to be extremely different than season three in some very startling and cool ways.
"'Daryl Dixon' has become a very important character in the show and his character had changed and evolved in very interesting ways over the course of the first three seasons. Having 'Merle' back was always planned to be somewhat temporary thing.
"We wanted to see how Merle’s return would affect that character and seeing Daryl revert to past behavior — to bad behavior — was something we really wanted to explore.
"But in the end, Daryl had moved past that character and we wanted to get back to him not having that brother altering his behavior moving forward or influencing him in any way. Merle’s death was really about activating Daryl in an interesting way that will pay off in season four.
"As the story of 'Woodbury' started taking twists and turns, Andrea’s death made the most sense. We’ve introduced a lot of other female characters along the way: 'Michonne' (Danai Gurira), 'Maggie' (Lauren Cohan) has taken a more central role and we’ve got 'Sasha' (Sonequa Martin-Green) — Tyreese’s sister.
"Coming into season four, I can say with absolute confidence that there’s no lack of female characters. Female characters will take central role in season four. It’s about the evolution of the show; characters are going to come in and go and the cast is always going to be changing but it’s still going to be 'The Walking Dead' at the end of the day.
"Because of Andrea’s sacrifice and seeing the Governor for who he is and knowing he’s killed all these people, Rick is changing. This is the moment where Rick takes a turn; he’s no longer going to be pushing people away, he’s no longer going to be doing what ever he can to protect these people in ways that hurt other people.
"He’s letting the people of Woodbury in and tying to tell 'Carl' (Chandler Riggs) that these people are like us, you have to be open to this and the only way to survive in this world is to have people and be in a community. That’s going to be a big part of season four..."
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