The season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead left me more frustrated than ever (read our recap). My issues with the show have reached a point where I’m pretty sure I won’t be watching Season 4 but I’m still interested to hear why certain decisions were made. If you’re interested as well, hit the jump to hear what creator Robert Kirkman had to say about that particular character death, what the person who plays that character had to say, and how ratings were better than ever.
If you’ve yet to watch the Season 3 finale, beware of spoilers here.
The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with Kirkman about the rather large detour they took from the comic book he created. Actress Laurie Holden’s character Andrea met an untimely fate in the episode thanks to a zombified Milton (which in turn, was thanks to The Governor). And yet, The Governor lives to fight another day as actor David Morrissey is set to return as a series regular in Season 4. Kirkman mentioned it was ex-showrunner Glen Mazzara’s idea to kill Andrea.
It’s a big departure from the comics, which to a certain extent is somewhat risky but at the end of the day I like the idea of there being big differences that key in to this is the show, this is the comic. I like that there’s some kind of separation there. 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 Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) mindset 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.
When asked about the backlash from comic fans about the choice, Kirkman said they just have to wait and see. “The comics still exist and I’d urge those people to continue reading the comics where Andrea is still alive. Just know the show is something different and we are telling different stories,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re not going to see a lot of the big stories and big events from the comic book in the TV show eventually; it just means those things will be a little bit altered from time to time.”
He also mentioned the evolution of the season made for a few different ideas. Originally, Andrea was meant to survive and take over as the leader of Woodbury. In another incarnation, she never freed herself from the chair at all. Kirkman promised that even though two lead women were killed off this season, “female characters will take central role in season four.”
Meanwhile, Holden told AMC she felt the final words spoken by her character were “perfect.” “I will never think of her as a victim… I see her as a casualty of war,” she said, “Andrea had a tumultuous journey this season, but at the end of the day, in spite of everything, so many positive things came out of it; the people of Woodbury did escape and reach their sanctuary and none of the people at the prison were killed.”
Holden said while she considers the death a tradegy, she doesn’t believe it was in vain because she was fighting with a purpose. She said, “The fact that this woman who was once suicidal and had no will to live, was able to grow, evolve and emerge not only as a survivor but as a leader? That’s been such an amazing gift for me as an artist. And I feel blessed to have had a three-season run. I am truly proud of this woman’s journey; I love who she became and what she stood for at the end of the world. After losing everyone and everything, she never lost her heart.”
The Hollywood Reporter said the episode marked a new record. “Sunday’s deadly season-three finale shattered the zombie drama’s own ratings record yet again, scoring 12.4 million total viewers in its initial 9 p.m. broadcast and 8.1 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic,” they wrote. “The numbers for the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics become more impressive when factoring in heavy competition from HBO’s season-three premiere of Game of Thrones and the finale of History’s miniseries The Bible — as well as typically decreased viewership levels on Easter Sunday. For its part, Game of Thrones also notched a series high, with Sunday’s season kickoff drawing 4.4 million total viewers in its initial 9 p.m. broadcast.”