Robert Kirkman on ‘Walking Dead’ future: ‘Anything could happen’

Nov. 11, 2012 | 10:56 a.m.
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Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) share a heart-breaking moment in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

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Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) share a heart-breaking moment in "The Walking Dead."(Gene Page / AMC)

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T-Dog (Robert "IronE" Singleton) faces the walkers in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

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Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and Vincent Ward in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

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Chandler Riggs, Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

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Scott Wilson, Emily Kinney and Chandler Riggs in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

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Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln and Steven Yeun in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page / AMC)

Last week’s shocking episode of “The Walking Dead” was the very definition of heartwrenching — with two key characters dying and one vanishing. (If you’re behind in your viewing, this would maybe be a good time to stop reading; if you’d like to relive the trauma, click through the image gallery above).

Robert Kirkman, the show’s executive producer and the creator of the comic book that spawned AMC’s hit zombie drama, said that the decision to kill off Sarah Wayne Callies’ Lori and IronE Singleton’s T-Dog — and to not specifically address what might have happened to Carol (Melissa McBride) was designed to underscore just how high the stakes are for the remaining survivors in the harsh, unforgiving world — an ensemble of characters that now includes a tiny newborn baby.

“It was definitely a lot,” said Kirkman, speaking by phone. “What we’re really trying to do with ‘The Walking Dead’ is keep people guessing and also show that we’re not your typical television show. I think that’s something that has really led to our popularity, that we do things that you don’t really normally see on television. I think ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is one of the only other shows on television that will kill a major character seemingly anywhere in the season.”

The ramifications of the events certainly will echo throughout the remainder of the season, with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) already in a seemingly precarious place psychologically after his showdown with Shane and his assumption of a more authoritarian approach to the leadership of the group. The pure agony he expressed as he realized that Lori was gone suggests that it won’t be easy for him to find any kind of firm emotional footing for some time.

But viewers certainly were affected, too: Florida Gators center Patric Young, for one, tweeted, “The Walking Dead last night was indescribable. If you ddnt tear up even a little you’re not human.”

“We think that’s really important to the show, to keep the audience off base,” Kirkman said. “They don’t know what’s going to happen or when it’s going to happen. When you sit down to watch an episode, anything could happen. While we do recognize that it’s a very jarring thing and it’s a huge loss to the show to lose two major characters in one episode — possibly three, we don’t know what’s going on with Carol, you never know — we wanted to do that so as you’re watching Episode 5 and 6 and 7 and so on, you know, Oh my God, this show is for real. Anything could happen.”

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Robert Kirkman and friends. (Megan Mack / MorrisonCon)

As to what ultimately might happen to the baby with her mother gone and her father appearing on the verge of mental collapse, Kirkman acknowledged that it won’t be easy for the infant — a crying baby is sure to attract the unwelcome attention of walkers. He said the show’s writers realize that should the child die, at least some fans could revolt. But Kirkman believes staying true to the arc of the series’ narrative is ultimately what’s most important.

“If you’ve looked at the comic book, the source material, we’ve gone in some pretty dark areas in that, and I don’t think that we’re ever going to be pulling any punches in the television show,” Kirkman said. “I would say that while we do worry that killing a baby on TV is probably going to alienate some people, and it would be a pretty harsh thing, I don’t know if that would keep us from doing that if we thought it was necessary for the story. So who knows what’s going to happen, but it’s certainly fun having a baby on set.”

— Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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24 Responses to Robert Kirkman on ‘Walking Dead’ future: ‘Anything could happen’

  1. Timothy Wayne says:

    That's what is so great about The Walking Dead, you never know what is going to happen or who is going to die. Even if you've read all of the comics, you should know by now that Robert Kirkman and AMC know how to throw a perfect curveball to the viewers.

    Also, I noticed in the slideshow within this post, there is a scene that never took place in S03E04. It's the picture of Carol in 21/22. The last we seen of Carol was the scene where T-Dog sacrifices himself, and she heads through the door. What we dont see, (as pictured in 21/22) is that Carol is attacked by a Walker once she goes through.

  2. sgarrett says:

    I absolutely love this show! I also think that Lori sacrificing herself for her baby was a mistake. She should have realized that the baby is at more of risk of dying without her, rick might kill it, it needs breastmilk that only she could have provided, and third why would you want to bring a child into a world like that. Wish the writers would of chosen her over the child but I guess the unpredictible story line is one thing that keeps me watching. Now only of Andrea can get her head on right and realize the Governor isn’t really the guy he appears to be. #LoveTheWalkingDead

  3. charlie brown says:

    Haven’t been so lucky as too have read the comics. In my opinion, if they wanted to keep a slightly happy story, Carl could have pretended to shoot Lori, Carol found her patched her up and woo hoo , 2 people undead. In actuality, Carl didn’t shoot Lori, Carol Was chewed on, and they both find Rick together, best friends til the end.

  4. Mark says:

    SOO sad all this could have been avoided if it wasnt for those 2 prisnors :c

  5. mjk says:

    I belive it is wishful thinking for lori to be alive ,I hope she is but i dont think she is because the walker had her hair in his mouth.As for carole I belive she is alive and well.and they will find her .But if the baby dies I will never whatch the show again.

    • Francis Kirkbride says:

      Since you never really saw Lori's body how do we know she is dead? that could have been someones else hair.Plus there was not blood on the floor where the walker was laying. The hair could have been where he tried to get her and got a hold of her hair. If i was writing this show i would have Carol find Lori and since she had practiced on the walkers to do a c section she will know what to do to save Lori's life. In ever episode they have always showed the persons body after they were killed but they have not showed Lori's or Carols body. They need to bring Lori and Carol back into the picture and i think they will. At least i hope they will…..

      • Bubble says:

        No way man. Lori is dead. The director of the episode confirmed it in "The Talking dead". The walker dragged her around the corner and chowed down.

  6. Wilbur says:

    I never thought Carol was dead. I think there must be a second prisoner or outside person watching…Andrew was rescued by someone outside then he set off the alarm but someone else got Carol.

    I guess this could be SPOILER ALERT, just my opinion though: Little things annoy me about the show btw: Carol is seen looking at Tdog (WITH SCARF ON HER HEAD). Carol runs through the door but as a veteran Zombie retreater/fighter (SHE DOESN'T close the door!). Anyway I think someone has Carol and that someone planted the scarf.

  7. dan says:

    I think Lori is alive. Carl, not wanting to shoot his mother, but knowing he has to, closes his eyes and pulls and walks away. In this moment, he jerks and misses. CArol, after running away from TDog, finds Lori, sews her back together just like she was practicing on the surgery walker in the yard. She drags lori to safety and has been keeping her fine. When rick picked up the bullet where lori was shot, there was no brain splatter, just bullet. As we saw with bloated zombie rick killed, bullet+brians=splatter.

    • Linda says:

      Oh wow! Everything you said I've been telling my kids for the past several weeks, in hope that Lori is alive! How funny that someone else would think along the same lines! And I just posted a comment to thits effect as well! How funny is this? This is awesome! (only thing, now we know that Carol didn't drag lori's body and help sew her up…but you know, there could be another character that has not been revealed yet that has helped to heal her and is waiting until they feel it's safe and she is well enough to walk out to the others….let's not forget that mystery person who was creeping in the bushes, watching Carol practice on the zombie lady…this person has not yet been revealed and could turn out to be someone in the medical field who would know how to care for Lori.)

      • dameon says:

        i dont think lori is dead either…weve seen a storyline kinda like this with daryl thinking his brother was dead …..seeing him from time to time and then u found out he was alive and living at woodbury……i agree as well we never saw a body …..just a bloated zombie….some blood ……and a bullet….i think its a subconsious connection to rick telling himthat maybe she is alive….i dont think carl could shoot his mother in the head either…..yes we heard a shot…..but no evidence to support otherwise…….

    • Lauren says:

      Yes, I don't think she is dead either. They didn't show Carl shooting her, there was no brain spatter. Lori passed out when Maggie cut into her belly, but did not die. Plus that walker could have someone else's hair in his stomach. I am one that is holding onto the wish that she is still alive!!

  8. jason says:

    I hope the baby dies so mjk never watches again. Haha.

  9. Drain says:

    Guys. Lori is dead. There is NO way you can cut a child out of a woman with a knife outside a hospital and have her live. If they did it in the show it would be so unbelievable. Also don't get attached to the baby. I doubt that it will survive wirhout it's mother's milk.
    On the subject on Andrea, I lvoe that the writers have used her to introduce Woodbury. Very different to the comic (she wasn't left behind at Hershel's farm). Sarah Wayne Callis is a great actress in other shows I've seen but I always thought the character was weak. She did her best but Lori slightly anmnoyed me. I love that Carl is stepping up and the writing possabilities for a child made to grow up too soon are endless. Pity about T-Dog. I was really hoping they's actually start using the character rather than have him as an also-ran.

    Don't get me wrong on the negativity. I LOVE this show. It's the best thing on TV!

    • Val says:

      Zombies aren't real either and you are going to whine about a hospital? It's a tv show for crying out loud. I believe that Carol finds her just like the previous post. Until there is definite closure, (we see them dead) anything is possible. Stretching out the story line is what they are good at….. for example…. Sophie. Hello?

  10. shelby rudy says:

    Wow.Did she died? She does not have a gun to kill the walkey so is she go to died?

  11. Betty says:

    Hi, I’m a nurse and a woman doesn’t need to be pregnant to lactate ( produce breast milk) So with proper stimulation any of the women could breast feed the baby.

  12. Callum says:

    Crap had one way ticket straight down during the last episode, it’s a fact that it made chuck norris cry and that is useful because his tears cured thousands of people world wide!!!

  13. Linda says:

    You know, Lori COULD come back in that we never actually SAW her die..nor did we actually SEE that walker actually EAT her. All we know is someone who is hiding for safety, could have pulled her body from where it lay and is attempting to nurse her back to health, within some area of the prison. And with regard to Carl "'shooting" his mother to prevent her "turning"??? Well, we didn't actually SEE this either. It could be that Carl, as tough as he has become, could not bare to actually WATCH as he pointed the gun to his mother's head, standing six feet away from where she lay. As a child, it is conceivable that he could have raised his gun in her direction but, due to his love for his mother, could not bare to watch as his finger pulled the trigger. Maybe he looked away as he shot…Maybe the shot missed his mother, only eventually landing close to where she lay (which would account for Rick's finding the bullet.) _I am really hoping that Lori is ALIVE…given the obvious, there is no reason that the writers can't "resurrect" her character. I want to see her reunited with Rick, with her hurting son, Carl and to be a mother to her precious newborn.

  14. shaun says:

    Lori is dead if carl didnt shoot her she would be a walker

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