After the events of this past episode of The Walking Dead, fans are certainly buzzing about a death not many saw coming. With only two episodes left in the second season, the situation for the entire group is surely to be elevated, as the tension continues to rise. IGN recently sat down with Robert Kirkman where he discussed a bunch of goodies. *Warning, possibly spoilers*
IGN Comics: Man. Really, really brutal episode. So right off the bat, because this is obviously what everyone’s going to be talking about. The group lost Dale in this episode, and in a very different way than the comics. After being such a proponent of keeping their humanity intact, how will the loss of that voice affect the group in terms or their decision making?
Robert Kirkman: The group is very much in a state of disarray. They’ve lost their moral compass to a certain extent. Keep in mind that every time that Rick and Shane have been butting heads, there is this aspect of Dale coming in and helping Rick form his decisions and keep them in line to a certain extent. In this episode in particular, you had everyone coming to the decision to kill this guy. It was only at the last minute when Rick saw how it was affecting his son that he backed away. But it was Dale the whole time that was saying, “We shouldn’t kill this guy. We need to retain our humanity.” He’s not going to be there the next time they come up against a decision like that.
IGN: Dale seemed to be a middle man or the voice of reason for a lot of people within the group, particularly Glenn, Rick and in this episode, Andrea. Now that he’s gone, are we going to start seeing more divisive lines in leadership philosophies amongst the group?
Kirkman: We’re not even really going to have time for that. The next few episodes are going to be absolutely insane, and I think that the loss of Dale is really going to spur them in a direction that might be a bad thing for them. When people tune in they’re really going to see that the death has been somewhat monumental and will inform everyone’s decisions moving forward. It could lead to a breakdown in this group. So yeah, it’s definitely going to have some big consequences.
IGN: I think the loss of Dale, more than any other character, especially for fans of the comics, in this episode proves that truly anyone can go whenever. Should we expect any more significant changes to the group before this season ends?
Kirkman: I would say possibly. We’ve got a few big episodes coming up and this is The Walking Dead. What’s interesting about this world is how dangerous it is. You can’t have a dangerous world without people dying. We’re always going to be doing our part to remind people how dangerous things are and that’s going to be through character death to a certain extent. I think it would be somewhat unusual to lose a major character in an episode following an episode where we lost a major character, but who knows. I would definitely be on the lookout for some shocks and some twists and turns coming in the next two episodes.
IGN: Cool. Aside from Dale, the character that stood out to me most in this episode was Carl. He’s clearly being influenced by this cold world he’s being raised in, but now that we’ve seen it’s more or less his fault that Dale was killed, is this something that will affect him, or at least the way he views things?
Kirkman: Absolutely. This is going to be affecting everybody, but Carl in particular, is going to blame himself to a certain extent. He was a pretty big part of Dale’s death; that zombie would not have been there if it were not for Carl. But an interesting thing to note here is that Carl is growing up in this world. He has different experiences than someone who grew up in civilization. He’s definitely learning what the rules are and how life works when thereare no rules and how life isn’t really working. How his reaction is to this as opposed to how most people expect it to be is going to be somewhat different, and that’s really one of the most interesting aspects of The Walking Dead.
IGN: This episode once again saw Rick second guess a hard decision; with he and Shane having sort of come to terms with one another recently, will this decision not to kill Randall now drive a whole new wedge between them in terms of their leadership issues?
Kirkman: The Randall situation is definitely still on the front burner, but I think the death of Dale is something that everyone is going to have to deal with. I think there is just as much of a chance that this could bring everyone together, including Rick and Shane, as much as it could tear them apart. We’ll just have to see. Whether their issues are settled or not is something that we’re going to be dealing with in the next few episodes; those two guys definitely have a lot to deal with. But they are best friends; that’s something to recognize. These guys have a huge history. Maybe the death of Dale inspires them to come together in a way that benefits the group and helps them carry on. Or, maybe not!
IGN: Last week, you guys announced David Morrisseywould be playing the Governor in season 3. In this episode, Randall reveals that he comes from a group of about 30 people, which if I’m remembering correctly is about the same size as the group in Woodbury in the comics. Can we assume that the arc with Randall will somehow lead into the Governor’s introduction?
Kirkman: That’s certainly a sound assumption. There’s definitely something to that. Whether or not Randall is a part of The Governor’s group is something that remains to be seen; I can’t really speak in absolutes, so I’m going to be a little more wishy-washy with you. I apologize for being evasive, but you may be onto something.
IGN: Awesome! And final question – can you just talk a little bit about David Morrissey, what led to him getting the role, and what he could bring to the show?
Kirkman: Early on in the casting process, David Morrissey emerged as a clear choice. He definitely is somebody that knows what he’s doing and has a tremendous amount of talent. The Governor is somebody that’s a very complicated character and it’s going to be very hard to portray that role and do it justice. I think we’ve definitely picked the right guy for the job, and I think people are going to be amazed when they see what we’re doing with season 3.