‘Walking Dead’ finale: Gale Anne Hurd on Daryl, death, Season 4

April 01, 2013 | 8:44 a.m.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

David Morrissey as the Governor in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

David Morrissey as the Governor in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

David Morrissey as the Governor in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

David Morrissey as the Governor in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the Governor (David Morrissey) in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Gale Anne Hurd , CEO of Valhalla Entertainment, poses for a portrait at Valhalla Entertainment in Los Angeles with a zombie from the AMC series' "The Walking Dead" for which Hurd is the executive producer on March 13, 2012. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

Season 3 of “The Walking Dead” concluded last night with one explosive finale that set an interesting stage for the characters left standing after the epic showdown with David Morrissey’s Governor. (Click through the gallery above to see scenes from the episode.)

All in all, it’s been a bristling, brutal season for Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and his band of survivors — a number of whom, well, failed to survive. The executive producer of the hit AMC series, Gale Anne Hurd, is not spending a lot of time feeling overly sentimental about the characters who have departed, however.

Rather, she’s looking ahead to Season 4, which will see Scott Gimple replace Glen Mazzara at the helm of the show. Late last month, Hurd took time out to speak to Hero Complex about what audiences can expect to see when “The Walking Dead” returns for its fourth season, which will place a renewed emphasis on the threat posed by the zombies.

She also explained why Gimple is the right successor to Mazzara and how closely the series’ writers scrutinize the text of Robert Kirkman’s comic book to determine the way forward on the show.

Gale Anne Hurd , CEO of Valhalla Entertainment, poses for a portrait at Valhalla Entertainment in Los Angeles with a zombie from the AMC series' "The Walking Dead" for which Hurd is the executive producer on March 13, 2012. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

Gale Anne Hurd , CEO of Valhalla Entertainment, is shown at Valhalla Entertainment in Los Angeles with a zombie from the AMC series “The Walking Dead,” for which Hurd is the executive producer. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / March 13, 2012)

HC: So, now that Season 3 is concluded, where do we find ourselves narratively?

GAH: The world is certainly no safer. In fact it becomes a lot more complicated in the upcoming season. I think that our band of survivors might have become a little too complacent about the threat that the walkers pose. They’re a very serious threat. I think the complacency towards walkers has probably run its course.

HC: The ratings this year have been astonishing. Has it surprised you the success the series has enjoyed, the degree to which it’s become a pop culture touchpoint?

GAH: When we started out, we hoped it would appeal to fans of the comic book and genre fans, but I hear more and more people saying that they never thought they would ever become addicted to a show that features zombies — even though it’s not about the zombies. It’s only once they realized that “The Walking Dead” actually refers to the survivors that it all makes sense.

HC: There have been a number of interesting moments this season, the introduction of the Governor, Michonne, expanding the world beyond Rick’s core group.  What were you most concerned about executing and what are you most proud of achieving creatively this season?

GAH: The challenge this season is that we had to keep two completely separate story lines going. We had Woodbury, the Governor, obviously, Andrea’s there, for the longest time Merle’s there, for a while Michonne, as well as the prison. There are really a lot of characters and story to service. I think the writers did a fantastic job of walking that tightrope.

HC: A number of characters did not survive Season 3. I’ve asked this previously of Glen Mazzara, but I’d love to know your answer: Are there any characters you can’t kill?

GAH: Nope.

HC: Not even Daryl?

GAH: You don’t go, we need to do something shocking, let’s kill off a character. That’s not the way it’s approached at all. We don’t do it indiscriminately. There’s always a reason and the reason we do it is because of the impact it has on the surviving characters. The only way that anyone is going to die on the show is to see how the other characters, what that does to them. This season, Rick’s character has been in the aftermath of Lori dying, same with Carl. There are shows that do, “Let’s kill someone off, we want the ratings to go up,” but that’s not how we approach it.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in the season 3 finale of "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in the Season 3 finale of “The Walking Dead.” (Gene Page/AMC)

HC: Speaking of Daryl for just a minute, from your vantage point, why do you think he’s become such a fan favorite?

GAH: Because Norman Reedus is the consummate actor to bring Daryl to life. He is one of the nicest people on the planet. He is completely down to earth and accessible, Norman is, in a way that’s very different from Daryl, but he’s got a number of things going for him. He’s the perfect survivor of this kind of apocalypse because he’s got a skill set. He’s the damaged guy that most women feel that their love and attention will fix and he’s got a heart of gold.

HC: Moving behind the scenes, people were surprised by Glen Mazzara’s departure. Were you?

GAH: His contract was up. It was more about a renegotiation than anything else. It wasn’t like he was fired. I think that that has been misrepresented…  This wasn’t the execution that it’s been made out to be.

HC: What made Scott Gimple the right person to replace Glen as show runner?

GAH: The cast knows Scott Gimple as well as they know any writer. He’s been on since the beginning of the second season and all of our writers come to set to produce their episodes so it is a family. It’s not like we’re bringing in a new stepfather from the outside. There’s a great deal of continuity. I think he’s written some of our strongest episodes. He came to the show already a huge fan of the comic book, his love and his history as a writer is all in genre. He gets along with everyone and has everyone’s respect.

HC: Are there discussions at this point about hewing closely to Robert Kirkman’s comic? Or has the show now clearly embarked on its own path?

GAH: They are on two separate tracks and sometimes they intersect but more than likely there’s not going to be any sequence of panels from the comic book that’s going to be brought to life exactly the same way on the series. Since Robert Kirkman’s in the writers room, everything has his approval. He’s involved in every decision. When we do depart with characters, their fates or their interactions, he’s had his voice heard.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


‘Walking Dead’: Glen Mazzara on war, revenge, hope

Glen Mazzara: Comic fans won’t guess what’s coming

‘Walking Dead’: Michael Rooker on tough love, Merle’s code

‘Walking Dead’ star Danai Gurira: Michonne, Rick and PTSD

Q&A: Norman Reedus is go-to guy in zombie times

Steven Yeun: Glenn is beating heart of ‘Walking Dead’

Danai Gurira doubles as Michonne and a playwright

PHOTOS: On the set of ‘The Walking Dead’

‘Walking Dead’: Glen Mazzara promises action

Glen Mazzara talks ‘long-term’ plan for The Governor


40 Responses to ‘Walking Dead’ finale: Gale Anne Hurd on Daryl, death, Season 4

  1. Kyle says:

    Please don't put spoilers in the headline. I have this DVR'd to watch tonight and now part of the impact of the story is lost simply because I was scrolling through headlines.

  2. R.T. says:

    In the age of DVRs, isn't it best not to post spoilers in headlines?

    • Bean says:

      It says “Daryl, Death,” not Daryl’s Death. Learn to read.

      • Erica says:

        AHH, MR. BEAN. Come on. R u kidding. Totall spoiler. Ridiculous!!!! Oh, its a slight, typo, or an extremely cute and clever wrighting skill. Anyway u slice it up. It, is a complete, and total spoiler. In fact, they should show this in Websters, as an example of exactly what a spoiler is. As if , It Stinks, Or, It smells,mean totally different things all together. Its pompass peole like you, with ideas like this, that remind us all of what it sounds like when two small children both think the other is wrong. How's about, "WALKING DEAD" season 3 finale; Gale Ann Hurd on life, death, Daryl, and season 4. Or, would u like one of the 20 other ones ive thought up in less than 30 seconds. It was a spoiler, period, plane and simple. We dont need ur english lesson . There is no title that they could have used that would have made anyone watch that episode or not watch that episode. Ur into it and a fan, or not. Know one is jumping on the shows bandwagon cause of that stupid spoiler headline. As if it could get a new veiwer to tune in or something. How ? They wouldnt have any idea what that headline meant at all. Only the real veiwers could possibaly be affected by reading that headline before the show aired. And,not in a good way either.!!!SAVE IT!!! I read it slow !!! I read it fast !!! i read it slow and fast,and then, I read it ten more times. I read it on a train, I read it in the rain, I read it in a barn, I read it at a farm . I Think u get it now. It was totally retarded, and on purpose. To stand back and give people english lessons or hide behind a comma or some kind of brillant literary rabbit out of the hat trick is even more retarded than the headline itself. If it wasnt on purpose, than who ever wrote it and who ever approved and printed it should be fired immediately for being completely inept. And, they are the ones who need a refresher of their writting and reading skills sprinkled with a bit of comprehending skills. Oh, excuse me for my grammer errors,as u all know by now, im in need of some english reading and writing skills !!! This is a perfect example of im smarter than u syndrome, which we all know can be found here more than any other place. Those people live for this powerfull forum of correcting all of us idiots and morons. For u really stuborn rightous retards who just think u need to read it more slowly and carefully so as to make it not a direct spoiler alert. You cant help but fully admit that if in ur mind its not a spoiler alert, persay. Then, u couldnt possibly get any closer to being a complete spoiler in every way. and, thats the whole point !!! The thought and concept was put in r heads like some sort of brillantly bad literary trickery for no good reason whatsoever!!!! AND THATS THE POINT!!! !!!!!!SPOILER ALERT !!!!! If u go back to the beggining of this, and just read it slow and carefully, it will all become much clearer for u, K ?

  3. Gordon says:

    Should there really be two "that"?

    Quote: GAH: His contract was up. It was more about a renegotiation than anything else. It wasn’t like he was fired. I think that that has been misrepresented… This wasn’t the execution that it’s been made out to be.

  4. D.L. says:

    Just because a headline says something doesn't mean that it is…. One could mis-interpret it wrong.

    • Brandon says:

      It isn't a spoiler, and if someone misreads it as a spoiler they'll watch it and be even more surprised. Isn't that the point?

  5. hellfire 62 says:

    Mike I saw ur com’t interesting but if they do all that

    They will not have a season 5, u know something I don’t know?????

  6. Mike says:

    I wonder if we'll see the Governor return leading a horde to the prison, a little pay back for what Merle did. I wonder if he could get thousands of them going in one direction?

  7. Alaina says:

    I agree they can’t kill all of those characters especially daryl because he is a fan favorite and amc knows more than well not to that early else the ratings will drop and season 5 cannot happen with that many deaths. Also I don’t think any of those people you listed could die in those ways.

    • Deedee says:

      I agree, totally, kill off any other character, but not a fan favorite, that makes no sence and is a stupi decision. ratings will go down, as well as the popularity of the show, its like if a show makes you money because of fan favorite, why get rid of it? kill off the governor, be great if Daryl could be the one to do it. for his evil ways. governor should have been dead in the last series, what a disapointment hes still alive, as if the survivors need his sorry butt again. back to daryl. Since the fans want him to stay alive , why don't the writers listen????? when you kill off daryl, you have killed off the show, which leads to a rotten ending.

  8. kris says:

    if they kill off any of these characters rick.glen,carol,the baby and daryl the show will become a total flop.These characters cannot die because they are the spin of the show and if even one is killed off the show will be a major fail and not become a sucess

  9. Daryl Dixon says:

    I call troll here.

  10. Jean says:

    I Agree don't kill off the original characters!!. That's what makes the show such a success!.

  11. Kayleigh says:

    I really hope they don’t kill Daryl, he’s been through so much the same as rick, but if they do kill rick they don’t really have a show anymore unless its the last episode, I hope Glen and Maggie get married near the beginning of season 4 too:-)

    • Erica says:

      what the hell for? Its much more meaningfull that Gleen and maggie have agreeed in principle that they love each other more than anything else and agreed that they would like to spend the rest of their lives together. obviuously in a safer, kinder world with a bright future ahead of it they would love to be together with a nice little family of children. Maggier and Glenn would be wonderfull parents. They r much to entellegent to bring children into this world and r fully awear that some sort of phobny cerimony within the group to simulate some sort of marriage cerimony is a waste of time and would not in any way make their relationship anymore meaningfull in any way. It would only cheapen it. Ridiculous idea !! What makes it incredibaly meaningfull is their agreement in principle to their profound love for each other and how it has evolved into what it is despite what the world has become instead of it being the reason that it even happened in the first place. Their love for each other and their relationship most certainly could have evolved like it has in a perfect world also if there paths has crossed and enough time had been spent in each others company. They are meant to be together regardless of the worlds state and thats what makes it so cool. So many of these type of movies or shows build these relationships purely out of fear and nessessity while we all know in a world uneffected by apocoliptic cercumstances theyn would never be together even if they spent lots of time together for whatever reason. Ur welcome for the wisdom.

  12. lily says:

    where is the walking dead finel

  13. Jim Taylor says:

    Ok will there be a season 5?? Will there be a season 6 also?? This is a great show?? Not to mention the action figures they are great.

    • erica says:

      Thats ridiculous !!!! Who knows ?? This is T.V. and anything can and will happen. Shows blow up and burn out and catch on fire and fizzel out at any moment for all kinds of various reasons that most of us will never ever know. Sit back, relaxe aqnd enjoy it now for what it is and for as long as it is. It will run its course like every other show there ever was and that will be that. U dont actually think this show will continue till the cure is found, the zombies are eliminated, and the world canl begin again where it left off. Or better yet, till the last real human is bitten and turned and the complete extinction of the humane race is acheived. What makes this show work more than anything else, is the constant theme of hope, survival, love, understanding and compashion for other humane beongs that are going thru this horrific scenerio with u.

  14. Corinne says:

    Guys, don’t worry about a thing things will go the way as planned there will be many seasons cuz of the comics its based off the comics so if ur all worried go read the comics but remember the show is not exactly like the comic

    • John W. says:

      Your logic is flawed; just because there is a lot of source material in the form of graphic novels doesn't mean this show will be around for "many seasons." Networks need to reach a lot more people than just the loyal readers of graphic novels.

    • eRICA says:

      ARE U NUTS? It is completely irrelevant how many comic books or novels this show was based off of. That material will not have any bearing whatsoever for the lifespan of this show at all. It wont even mater a little bit, if every episode aired from this moment forward turns out to be the worst programing ever produced for television, or, the greatest acheivement of film making in the history of mankind !!! The only thing that will dictate this shows longevity, will be, how many people tune in to each episode, and how much money can be made from its continued production now, and in the future. !!!!PERIOD!!!! END OF DISCUSSION, AND TOPIC, FOR AS LONG AS PLANET EARTH STILL EXSISTS IN THE UNIVERSE K ?? WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THIS PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL AND OTHERS WITH SIMILAR BELIEFS AND CONCERNS REGARDING THIS TOPIC, THIS SHOULD REALLY BE THE DEATH OF THIS IDIOTIC TIDBIT OF UNEDUCATED WISDOM FROM MISTER DIMWIIT. I AM COMPLETLY, EXHAUSTED FROM THESE TYPE OF I KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT PEOPLE, SO DONT U WORRY, I WILL GUIDE U THRU, K. JEEEEZ!!!! LAWEEZ!!!!!

  15. harryk says:

    the producers need to have us believe that any character can be killed off, including Rick or Daryl. Realistically though the story of the Walking Dead (season 1, ep 1) begins with Rick Grimes and the whole show (last season) needs to end with Rick Grimes. in a way this is Rick's story. not saying he will not die in the final episode ever, perhaps with the reins handed over to a grown up Carl.. but i can't see him going before that. It would cause a huge exodus of fans.. it won't work to have another character replace Rick as leader.. not Tyrese, not Daryl.. because this is Rick's story. I didn't like Andrea's death but did you notice that part of Andrea's spirit has passed on to Rick. He has become more inclusive, more accepting, some of his humanity has returned. Rick and Andrea were always connected since season 1 (when he showed her that her gun was locked still); this is what Gale was saying – Andrea's death has transformed both Rick and Michonne.

    • Mark Norwood says:

      Lets do a season finale with Rick waking up from a terrible nightmare, and then realizing it's really just beginning with George A Romero's Night of The Living Dead a much worse Zombie Apocalypse.

  16. livingwalker says:

    If you read the comic books, you know that Andrea is still alive in season 9, so her death was a major digression from the cb's. I can tell from this interview that Ms. Hurd will care more about her budget than the story – and kill off anyone she feels will keep the show in the top ratings. I love the graphic novels and like the show – but have been disappointed in some of their decisions about killing off important people – Andrea specifically. BTW, Daryl isn't even in the graphic novels.

  17. erica says:

    Sorry. But so many of us are so very happy she is dead and gone. I couldnt stand her or her character/ She deserves to be dead for not having the common sense or insight or balls to friggen kill the governor when she had so so many chances. Ultimately thats why shes dead. She killed herself/ If the governor was dead she would be alive. Thimk about it.

    • Deedee says:

      I totally agree, the governor should have been killed off, was boring with him on it ,as it was with shane. she did kill herself off by making a bad decision. so no tears here.

  18. Ark mom2 says:

    I pray that they will not kill off Daryl. I know he nor Merl was not ever in the comics and Shane died in the first episode. Dale was not suppose to die yet either and Sophia wax suppose to be Carl’s love interest. But to kill off Daryl now will mean devastation for the show. I know of many who will quit watching it. And it’s not just here in my town but all over and overseas. they need to think long and hard about killing him off.

    • deedee says:

      I totally agree, when Daryl dies the show dies, he has struggled so long, he needs to live, have a future he deserves, and i too will quit watching the show if Daryl dies, no one wants that for his fate, rather have rick or glenn die or tyreese, then Daryl, and Daryl take over the clan. or even kill of maggie or carol. but not Daryl. people only watch the living dead for him, and his character. to kill him would kill the show and his fans.

  19. Chris Hagood says:

    I really hope they dont kill off Daryl he is my favorite person on the show as well as my girlfriend we got satilite just to watch this show

  20. Deedee says:

    If a show has a fan favorite, why kill him or her off?, the rest who died didn't amount to much to the living dead, the show went on,. Daryl is the show, hes the one we want to see each week, not the others, Daryl is our hero, we can relate to him, the others are mere characters. to kill him off would be killing off the show , the ratings and his fans. why would the writers even consider such a dumb idea. killing off daryl could be there biggest mistake. he needs to be in a leadership position, rick is dried up. kill off rick or glenn or maggie, or anyone else, it won't make a difference, but Daryl will. thats like throwing away good champagne and leaving rotten beer, think first please. as Daryl is now the show. kill off the governor, or have Daryl do it. be a great ending.

  21. Brea says:

    Honestly. I couldn't possibly care less about whether or not Daryl was in the comics or not. The fact is that he makes the show what it is, and I really don't feel like I need to point out the fact that the show and the books are two completely different animals. The whole thing will die without him in it, because he's someone that most of us can relate to, and maybe even the one we want the most to succeed. Needless to say, I for one can promise to unset my dvr in the event that he should be killed off.

  22. joheri says:

    Darryl is the reason for the season(4!) My husband and i are huge Darryl fans! He is the backbone of the show! We would not continue to watch if he’s not apart of the show! Every week we watch to see in what way he’ll “kickass” next, & LIVE to tell about it!

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