Walking Dead Boss on Lori and Rick's 'Destroyed' Marriage, Increased Airtime For T-Dog and More

The Walking Dead Season 3Think you know everything there is to know about The Walking Dead‘s third season (premiering Oct. 14)? Think again. Despite the fresh avalanche of clips and intel coming out of Comic-Con, executive producer Robert Kirkman tells TVLine that he still has a few major surprises up his sleeve.

In the following Q&A, Dead‘s boss man teases a few of those twists, and also previews  Rick’s “drastic” new journey, Carl’s promotion to “child solider,” and a beefed up storyline for last season’s quietest character.

TVLINE | How are you feeling about Season 3 now that you’ve shot a large chunk of it?
I’m excited about everything. There are new characters and there’s a new tone. There are characters that people don’t know about that are coming [on], which is really exciting… We’ve done some really cool stuff and I’m really anxious to see what people think of it. I’m really proud of the third season.

TVLINE | How closely will the arcs of The Governor (David Morrissey) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) follow the comic book mythology?
I can say that the characters are the characters; Michonne is Michonne, and The Governor is The Governor. They are definitely doing some of the things that you want them to do from the comic, but there are definitely changes. I’m adamant that if the TV show is just a direct adaptation of the comic, it would be completely boring to a significant percentage of the audience because the comic books do sell really well. So, we want to keep those people guessing as well as the people who have no familiarity with the comics at all… If it were completely up to me, the show would almost be more different. But the things that are very important to the fans, the things that would fundamentally change the characters and fundamentally change the story to the point that it wouldn’t be The Walking Dead, that’s not happening.

RELATED | Walking Dead @ Comic-Con: Get the Premiere Date and Watch Trailer! Plus: Uglier Zombies?

TVLINE | The finale signaled a big change in Rick. Do you view him almost like a different character now?
That’s really the key there, him straddling that line and how he manages that over a long period of time. The Walking Dead really is, at its core, Rick’s story. Watching this guy, who is such a good man, have to deal with all these things and how it affects him is really the meat and potatoes of the story. So, leading him up to where he is at the end of Season 2 — where he’s just killed his best friend and his relationship with his wife is somewhat destroyed and his son is changing before his eyes in ways that he has no control over — we pick up with that in the very beginning of Season 3. His journey over the third season is going to be a lot more drastic than it’s been. You’re going to see him really be put through his paces, and he’s definitely going to come out of the third season a changed character.

TVLINE | Will we see more repercussions of Shane’s death? 
Shane’s death will have ramifications through the entirety of the series. The way it affects Carl, the way it affects Lori, the way it affects Rick, as well as the other characters. It fundamentally changes them.

RELATED | More Walking Dead: Major Season 3 Spoilers!

TVLINE | Carl underwent some major changes last season, too. 
Carl is growing up. In the comic book, you can see his evolution almost more than any other character. You see him as this very young child, and you look at him now and he’s vastly different, so that’s something that we’re definitely following in the show. Season 3 in a big way is quite a jump for Carl. He’s very much part of the group now; he’s a child soldier. He’s doing all of these things that all of the people around him are doing. It’s not, “Carl, you go hide here and let’s do this.” He’s actually in the mix in really startling and surprising ways. I’m really excited to see what Chandler Riggs does.

TVLINE | We previously reported on Lauren Cohan’s promotion, but have any other recurring players been bumped up to regulars next season?
Lauren Cohan was promoted to series regular this season, so that’s great. Everyone who survived the second season is definitely back. The way our stories are structured, I feel like they are all getting more to do. A lot of people ask about T-Dog — he’s a fabulous character. IronE Singleton is a fantastic actor and we all recognize why fans love him. We’re definitely getting around to telling his story and doing more with him.

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57 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    You should ask him why season 2 ended with autumn and winter on the way, and now the season 3 preview looks like summer again. A few guys have beards, Carl looks taller with longer hair, but Lori is still pregnant and they are just finding the prison so it hasn’t been a full year yet to circle back to summer. What gives?

    • matthias says:

      Because it’s a TV show?

      • Kevin says:

        Yes i know its tv show Matthias. But they made it very clear that cold weather was coming and the characters wanted in that farmhouse before the cold weather became an issue. I’m all for everything taking place in one summer over multiple tv seasons, but don’t have the characters discuss weather changes and don’t show the fall foilage if you can’t realistically produce fall and winter productions on the show.

      • AJ says:

        Well he has a point. Winter lays a role in the comics more than once. And cold weather seems to have a helpful effect on zombie activity level. Makes them slow down.

        • Melanie says:

          Georgia is well known for “dog days” weather. It will get unseasonably cool for weeks in August, usually bringing a rainy season, then abruptly skyrockets to >100F and stays that way for a week or two. It might explain the sudden chill in the air.

          By the way, I’ve been watching them film all season in Newnan, Griffin, and Senoia GA and there are some huge surprises in store this season! I’m ecstatic to see it and hate that we still have so long to wait.

    • Sophie says:

      Maybe we should see what actually happens in the show before we start complaining. Making judgments on something based on a preview is kind of silly.

      • Shelly says:

        Thank you Sophie. That’s exactly what i was thinking. Previews are always meant to make you wonder. To assume anything from a preview is silly.

    • KBC says:

      The simplest answer is the weather. I live in Atlanta. Last summer was unbearably hot and this one has been pretty warm so far. They start filming here and around Georgia in June…I couldn’t imagine asking the actors to shoot outside in this heat wearing winter clothes/jackets without someone passing out.

      • Eric Vamplover says:

        The Georgia Dome is still around right?

        Well, Make a Ice Rink… And get The Set Crew to Work with it. Ta Daaaaa! Winter for Season 3!.

        But with having The I-nternet M-ovie D-ata b-ase Application on My Cellphone. And with Comic-Con … It seems that This Season is like I know it already.

    • Molly says:

      Well what if the preview is later in the season, like a few episodes in?

      • Nemoque says:

        In the comic version, Lori spits on Shane’s grave. Shane’s death has absolutely NO significance to the group. The TV writers went hog wild with the Shane character and in many ways hurt the storyline. For one thing, it has made a villian out of Lori. She comes off way better in the comic version than the TV version.

    • Hannah Smith says:

      Lori has gone from around 8 to 9 months of pregnancy. This means that at the end of her pregnancy it would in fact be summer again. Duh! And I know that by now the show has premiered, however it is obvious through the trailers.

  2. Andrew says:

    I’m pretty sure everyone who was calling for more T-Dog was doing it ironically, mostly just to mock how marginalized he was.

  3. LEAH says:

    I still don’t think they *needed* to kill Shane – they basically killed the best character on the show, and really the only one who made any sense. This whole line that the death will have “ramifications” is BS. All I can say is that Lori had better meet her end sooner rather than later — you really want to advance Rick and Carl’s characters? That is the way to do it!

    • AJ says:

      Killing Shane in both the Comics and the show gave Rick confirmation that they were all infected and would become Zombies when they die. In the comic Carl shoots Shane early on and they bury him. Rick goes back later and digs him up and sure enough he is a Zombie and he kills him again. Now they could have done it with a different character I guess, but they already let Shane live well beyond his comic book life, and for some reason they killed Dale long before he died in the comics. (He lived in the prison and was eventually bitten, lost a leg, and finally got abducted and partially eaten by cannibals lol). I would have loved to see Dale die on the show they way he died in the comics.

    • Shelly says:

      Really? Shane was the only character that made sence? Really? Shane had become a phychopath. Don’t get me wrong i loved his character. Jon Bernthal was amazing as Shane but the simple fact was that he had to die. Rick gave him a chance to let it go but instead he gave Rick no choice but to kill him.

      • Mandy B says:

        I don’t know if I can agree to that. I think what happened to Shane was tragic. I am not arguing that Shane went crazy – he definitely did. But in all honesty, wasn’t he a better protector of Lori and Carl than Rick was? I re-watched most of the first and second season and Shane is always the one standing in front of them. Rick is always running around on missions. I also feel like maybe Shane was a better father to Carl. Carl felt comfortable confessing things to Shane – not Lori / not Rick. Shane tried to get Rick to step up 100 times. The last straw was when Carl confessed to Shane about stealing Darryl’s gun and tormenting the walker that later killed Dale. Shane essentially begged Rick to put Carl first, but Rick insisted on handling the Randall situation instead. I think that’s when Shane knew he had to kill Rick. Before that, Shane asked Rick multiple times not to go on the many missions and wild goose chases he goes on. Shane could put Lori / Carl above everything else, and Rick never could. Shane lost it after killing Otis, which he only did only to save Carl’s life. He sacrificed everything for them – literally. If Shane had killed Rick, I think that would have made for a more interesting plot, honestly. In killing Shane, I think Rick lost Lori anyway.

    • Michael Davenport says:

      Shane was a cancer to the group he died earlier in the comics as well. He was a needed character but i feel after they killed dale off, it was a good time to kill shane it was a good balance. Now they have hershal (dale he is not) still an amazing guy and character! And with the Governor coming in it would have been a horrible thing for the group to have shane around. I do agree that Lori needs to die (if they want to go by the comics) rick will be the one to do it either before or after she has the baby, the baby shouldn’t make it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen during the first half of the season. Back to shane for a second, Shelly you hit it on the nose, so did you AJ shane was a confirmation that everyone was infected and shane really made sense….to himself! It also had to happen because as in the wild, there can’t be two alfa males. Shane couldn’t have led the group to and through the prison he would have killed them all first. but i’m really excited to see it all play out this season!

    • Ava says:

      I found Shane to be a really compelling character as well. I think that he and Rick were two halves of the same whole though. Rick was the good and Shane the bad. With Shane gone now Rick is going to be a more rounded character because he’s going to have to play to the darkness that Shane embodied.

    • Nemoque says:

      I totally disagree. Shane had to go. His obsession with Lori and Carl was more like “fatal attraction.” There is no way that Rick and Shane could remain in the same group. One of them had to go. My anger is at Lori for asking Shane to stay, and then telling him that she didn’t know whose baby this is. If you want to blame anyone’s for Shane’s death, blame Lori.

    • Nemoque says:

      Shane was bats**t crazy. His obsession with Lori and Carl led him to plot to kill Rick. Shane didn’t care about the group, he cared only about Lori and Carl. Actually, he cared only about his relationship with Lori and Carl. Shane would’ve destroyed this group.

    • Nemoque says:

      Shane was a lunatic. His obsession with getting into Lori’s pants led him to plot Lori’s husband’s death. Think about! Is that the actions of a moral or rational person? Shane ONLY cared about shagging Lori. He could not careless about anyone else. I wished Shane had been killed the same day that Rick found Lori and Carl as it was in the comic version.

  4. T-W-D says:

    Ctrl + F
    Andrea
    Phrase not found

    :(

    I want to know more about Andrea’s storyline.

  5. melissa says:

    DARYLLLLL!!!!!!! Daryl + Glen. Stars of this show.

    • M.L. says:

      I hope they dont kill off Daryl. He’s like the only true man on the show.

    • Michael Davenport says:

      you can’t forget about hershal! and to respond to a few comments below they are currently writing Daryl into the comics he was never there so i don’t see him dying for atleast one more season, although that would be a great finale for the show!

  6. AJ says:

    I don’t want to post any spoilers from the comics so I will try to work around it. I would like you to ask him in a future interview if Merle and his story were added as a reason for what happens between Rick and the Governor, if they choose to go that route. Or will that interaction simply not happen to Rick since we already have a character in that “predicament” with Merle. If you know what I mean lol.

    • KSteel says:

      *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER** You have been warned!
      AJ, are you talking about Rick losing a particular body part? I read an interview with Robert Kirkman a few weeks ago and he was asked that question. His said that originally they were NOT going to do it because it would be too dificult to work around it. But then he said never say never. So the truth is he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

      • AJ says:

        Yep, i was wondering if Merle was taking that part, or if Merle is now with the Governor and the Governor uses that as a reason for some eye for an eye type justice. In the comic he just lops his hand off for little reason. I thought maybe now that Merle is back we would have a reason. It would suck if they didn’t do it but I can understand why they might not for a TV show.

        • Eric Vamplover says:

          AWWWW! Thanks for spoiling that part for us.

          WARNING!
          IF YOU ARE A “WALKING DEAD” COMIC BOOK READER… PLEASE, KEEP WHAT YOU KNOW IN A LOCKER! (Metaphorically.).

          Or Make a Group/Fan Page on Facebook where “You” can Talk about it. So Non-Comic Bookers [Like Me] can still anticipate to wait until OCTOBER!

          Thanks.

          • Shelly says:

            I actually read somewhere that he regretted doing that to Rick in the comic and is most likely not going to do that to him in the show. Also, as a reader of the comic they are writing the show different enough to where it is still interesting. I highly recommend reading the comic, even if you’ve never read a comic in your life you wont be sorry. Next to” Watchmen” its probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever read.

    • Nemoque says:

      I’ve read the comic version, but the TV version has deviated so much from it that I don’t know if anyone could actually post a spoiler. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in the TV version.

      • Shelly says:

        You’re probably right but someone could spoil the comic for someone if too much comic info was mentioned ..for instance, I’m reading the comic by book..and I’m still waiting to read book 8 when it comes out in October. But since the shows plot isn’t anywhere near that point the risk is minimal.

  7. damian says:

    “A lot of people ask about T-Dog — he’s a fabulous character. IronE Singleton is a fantastic actor and we all recognize why fans love him.”
    Wait… What?!

    • Michael Davenport says:

      He needs to die, he had his time, he’s turning to the dark side so to speak and i quite honestly find his character an easy loss, he’s no dale or shane. Kind of like Patricia, Ottis, and Jimmy.

  8. John Myers says:

    i know what you mean.I never thought of it like that before AJ. maybe that could be the reason. but remember we have only seen clips in the trailer of the first 8 episodes which they have filmed. we have another 8 yet to be filmed so anything can happen.

  9. Shelly says:

    Does anyone think that T-Dog is taking the place of Tyrese from the comic? I’ve really been wondering. I really liked tyrese and was a little disappointed when he wasn’t in the show.

  10. R.O.B. says:

    Can someone please just tell the kid who plays Carl to speak clearly? That kid is a pro at mumble-speak. Definitely makes the top 3 in terms of having to hit the jump-back button – can’t understand 90% of what he says!

  11. DF>aea says:

    T-Dog sucks, he was one of the reasons I stopped watching the show. When he was cast on the role Irone Singleton (why capitalize the second e? That’s retarded) added everyone who followed TWD twitter feed like “Hey guys, I’m on this show” because he just wanted some ass kissing.

    And yeah, it seems like they want to replace Tyreese with that bland, spineless, attention whore

  12. Jorin Reddish says:

    10 yo’ s are cats… Word up!

  13. jonathon says:

    it really sucks when 80% of the comments about a particular actor our racist. Just say you don’t like the guy and move on. I think he’s done a great job with the part he was given. Tara from True Blood and now T-Dog on this show, its really sad to read these ignorant messages. I know, you’re gonna tell me to just stop reading but honestly I thought the reason to comment on a show was to say what you enjoy or not like about a show not hate on certain actors. oh well…

    • Rosemary says:

      Racist?? 80% of the comments? Huh? there’s not a single reference to the guy’s race or anything about race. The comments could be about a white actor for that matter. The comments I read are about his acting and how unremarkable he is. Nothing to do with his race.

  14. Ryuuzaki says:

    Guess we won’t get to see Michonne get brutalized over and over and over by the Governer in the show.

  15. aaron123 says:

    Are we going to find out anything more on Morgan? And why Shane just more or less stopped trying him on the walkie at dawn? Also is the 1st scene in the 1st episode ever going to be explained, where Rick finds the little girl walker, but never says anything about it?

  16. CJ says:

    I’m so beyond happy that Lauren Cohen has been promoted to a regular. She’s just amazing in everything she’s in, she was brilliant in supernatural but shes awesome as Maggie Greene and I’m hoping her character will develop cause it could become something good <3

  17. TJ says:

    I must be the only one that dislikes Maggie. In the comics, she’s a decent character with purpose. In the show, she’s just a whiner and quite frankly, she’s ruined one of my favorite characters.

    For the people commenting on Irone Singleton’s acting abilities… how can you make proper judgment on his acting abilities when he really hasn’t been given a chance on the show to prove himself? Chandler Riggs has had far more lines than him and he falls flat every time. Irone may not get many lines, but his lines impact far more than some other characters that have more screen time.

  18. megan says:

    hey does anyone know if there is going to be a season 4????

  19. Caela D. says:

    I think that Shane and Rick could be very much compared to Yin and Yang. I believe that Shane was Yin – the north slope, the shady mountain, the negative, somewhat introvert one. While I believe that Rick was Yang – The sunny place, the good. On their own, they are both characters everyone can hate, but together, they balanced eachother out. Since one is gone (which I personally would rather have let Rick live than Shane), Rick is going to really change and get more depth as a character, and maybe even be a combination of both his own and Shane’s personalities? Haha, anyway, can’t wait!

    • Nemoque says:

      I’m not an expert on Yin and Yang, but Rick and Shane were not opposite equals. It is far better to see them in existentialist terms. They both find themselves in an existing reality in which there are no rules or morality. Each is trying to survive in such a world in his own way. They are free to make of life what they want it to be. Shane created a world that was all about protecting Lori and his relationship with her. Rick created a worldview that borrowed a moral structure from a civilization that no longer existed. He longs for meaning in a world that has no meaning or purpose. It’s all about existence.

  20. john says:

    I would like to see morgan come back. But if some things changed from the comic im not sure if he will come back. In my thoughts who ever played morgan did a good job of acting he really pulled it off

    • Nemoque says:

      This is old news. The article is dated July 17. I have no idea what is going to happen to Rick and Lori’s marriage. Lori believes that Rick hates her. Rick has plenty of reason to hate Lori, but I’m not certain for his reasons. Is it because of her infidelity even after Rick returned? Is it because Lori blamed Rick for Shane’s death. Is it because Carl killed Shane? I wish I knew what exactly pushed Rick over the line when it comes to Lori.

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