Walking Dead Post Mortem: Robert Kirkman Talks Andrea Backlash (Including the Pliers!), Defends Rick's Decision, Previews [Spoiler]'s Return

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The Walking Dead Season 4 SpoilersThe Walking Dead‘s tense, brutal, gut-wrenching Season 3 finale is but a distant memory, and now series creator Robert Kirkman has some ‘splainin to do.

Why did Rick choose the prison over Woodbury as the gang’s home base? What was behind the decision to keep the beyond-redemption Governor around? Did viewer animosity towards Andrea contribute to the decision to whack her prematurely? And what was the deal with those damn pliers?!

Below, Kirkman answers all of those questions and offers a tantalizing sneak peek at the show’s fourth season (bowing in October).

RELATED | Walking Dead Exclusive: Laurie Holden Speaks Out About Andrea’s Death

TVLINE | Laurie Holden suggested it was somewhat of a last-minute decision to kill off Andrea. What led to the change in plans?
I wouldn’t say it was necessarily last minute. It wasn’t quite planned at the very beginning of the season. It came up in the development of the Woodbury story. There were a lot of different plans for the Andrea character, and as we started getting closer and closer to the last few episodes of the season, it started to become a little more clear the direction we wanted to go in. And the thing that would have the most impact on all of the characters was actually her death.

TVLINE | Did the fan backlash towards the character factor in at all?
That was never anything that worked into the decision-making process. Fan backlash isn’t something we use to make decisions. The death of Andrea was already shot well before these last eight episodes aired. So it’s not really even possible to use fan reaction to guide story.

TVLINE | Were you surprised by the criticism directed at her? And, looking back, would you do anything differently?
Looking back, there are probably a few things we could’ve done to stem that. It wasn’t our intention to have a small but vocal portion of the audience not really behind her. We really wanted to show this character as someone who was optimistic about the possibilities of Woodbury. In the end, it’s always a risk having the audience know something that the character doesn’t. But we felt it was important to show the optimism in her. To show, in a sense, how desperate she was to have something to hold on to and be optimistic about. Some audience members didn’t react favorably to that. I do think it was a misreading of the situation. I see a lot of people saying, “Why doesn’t she know the Governor is a bad guy?” We’re seeing a larger picture that the character is not seeing. And some audience members didn’t key into that as much as we would’ve liked them too.

RELATED | Walking Dead Season 3 Finale: What Grade Do You Give It?

TVLINE | Why did she spend so much time staring at Zombie Milton instead of picking up those damn pliers?
[Laughs] You know, it was a struggle. A very tense situation. If you’ve never been straped to a chair watching someone die before you I don’t know that you can really judge how someone behaved. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Why did Rick bring the Woodbury residents to the prison instead of relocating the prison folks to Woodbury?
The Governor is still out there. He’s already killed a great number of people from Woodbury. And I think they were able to repel him at the prison, so moving into Woodbury and setting up shop in his backyard – a place he’s very familiar with — would be very dangerous for Rick. They see the prison as something that is much more easily defended than Woodbury. They were able to get into Woodbury easily themselves. The Woodbury defenses are very effective against zombies, but not very effective against humans. They see it as much more of a defensible position.

PHOTOS | The Walking Dead: 15 Most Memorable Moments of Season 3

TVLINE | Why keep the Governor around as a series regular next season?
That question will be answered [in] Season 4. We always had a plan for this guy. We always knew that it was a bigger story than would fit into one season. There’s still a lot more to be done with this guy. We’ve known from the very first minute of Season 3 that we would be keeping the Governor around for a while.

TVLINE | Will the prison remain the primary set piece in Season 4?
There’s always going to be new locations and new places to discover and explore. I don’t want to reveal too much; Season 4 is still five months away. But I will say that as we see at the end of Season 3 we’re definitely going to start Season 4 at the prison. We may be there the whole season and we may not be… But there are going to be some big differences from Season 3.



Comments (288)

  • I hated that Andrea died too soon and for no reason. The writers did not give her a very good storyline and for whatever reason wrote her very poorly in S3. I think Glenn Mazzara was out to get her because the actress that played her is close to Frank Darabont or maybe he is just an asshole. I am happy for Laurie Holden since she doesnt have to explain the crappy writing anymore. I hope she goes on to better things.

    Comment by patrick rossman (@walkerdude13) – April 11, 2013 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Average ending to season 3…the governor was a good season 3 issue but dragging it into season 4 after 16 episodes is silly…would much rather a whole new issue

    Comment by James – April 15, 2013 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For all the naysayers on this blog, I have one question….
    “Why are you wasting your precious time watching a show you consider “lame”?
    I LOVE TWD, the zombies, plot development, characters, if you just want to see endless episodes of zombies attacking people, TIVO a low budget zombie flick and enjoy:) And as for your comments about people living in basements and not working, sounds like maybe you’re a little jealous of Robert Kirkman……lol
    At least he’s living his dream, not taking cheap shots at someone else’s work……get a life

    Comment by Denise820 – April 27, 2013 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I completely agree with you. This so called majority, which I think is the minority needs to find something else to watch. It ticks me off that they are complaining about a show that is absolutely great. Would I make all the same decisions with the plot that they did? No I wouldn’t. That being said, I’m a viewer not a writer. Those that don’t like it, become a writer, write the perfect show, and get it on TV. Good luck with that.

      Comment by bbyrd2166 – April 29, 2013 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just think we should have a choice (You should at the very least be able to make a statement).

    Comment by www.labinostudio.com – May 21, 2013 08:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • when does the walking dead come back on .

    Comment by danny – June 21, 2013 12:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok to all those dissapointed by the season finale’. The way I read the ending, it all had to do with Rick’s knowledge of police tactics, and being able to defend a place he understands very well……a prison. He didn’t want to kill innocent people, and he also wanted the governor to know that he COULD have killed him, but spared his and his peoples life. He used every bit of knowledge he had about prison riot tactics to avoid a head on confrontation with superior numbers against him. He funneled the large group into a small “cozy” area, spooked them, and created a panic. It went hand in had with Michonne”s suggestion that “We don’t have to win, we just have to make getting to us more trouble than it’s worth.” It was a brilliant move. In one shot, he may not have been able to defeat the gov” psychotic anger, but he was able to shake up his “army” enough that gov”s militia lost the will to fight. Using the fact that govs militia was living fat and happy in Woodbury against them. For those of you that don’t understand why Rick chose to stay at the prison insteadof taking Woodbury, I hope this makes some sense. Sun Tzu’s first rule of war, never fight the enemy on HIS ground. Let him bring the fight to you.This doubles if you are a sheriff, and your ground is a prison. Not to mention your people have riot gear, and prison riot deterrent weapons. Just my .02 cents.

    Comment by gungho – July 11, 2013 08:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only thing I dislike is the governor is made to big a bad guy in the show. When ricks group encounters negan( if tge show gos that way) its hard to top the governor on the shiw and if u read the comics negans a far worse threat than the governor ever was. So how far over the top will that tv character be

    Comment by Jer – July 17, 2013 12:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Quit complaining and enjoy the show.

    Comment by Fan30292818181 – August 2, 2013 11:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well I’m glad they’re keeping the governor around! He’s my favorite character, I can’t get enough of him! Let’s face it…without the “bad guys” things get dull…I actually was sad to see Shane go! I wonder if Beth will ever get to do more? And maybe Hershel can find a girl friend amongst some of the older ladies from Woodberry?

    Comment by Nadalee – September 2, 2013 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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