Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Season 3 finale of The Walking Dead, as well as from The Walking Dead comic book series. So, if you're still watching/reading/experiencing the series vicariously through the wiki page, you might want to avoid this post altogether.
Now that another year of The Walking Dead has come to a close, effectively depriving us of week-to-week zombie entertainment for the next few months, we must occupy our lives with our alternative pastime: wondering what's going to happen on the next season (we're not a well-rounded bunch).
Luckily, we have some hints... at least, we might. The Walking Dead derives from a comic series that could well point to a few possibilities for Season 4. Of course, the first three seasons of the show have strayed wildly from Robert Kirkman's graphic novels at many points, but that doesn't mean the show is averse to picking up a few bits of inspiration from its source material.
We learned today that the Governor would be tacked onto the fourth season as a series regular, despite a Season 3 conclusion that left him a destitute loner... and a comic book fate that took his life early on in the story. To date on the series, the Governor's most important and most complicated relationship has been assigned to Andrea, who bit the dust on Sunday night. Are we inclined to think, then, that the Governor's adventures will take him to new lands altogether? New communities with new characters, just as Andrea's took her (and us) to him? Or will he find the end of his rope sooner than later?
Another character with a much longer onscreen life than her comic book life: the baby Grimes. The comics saw Li'l Asskicker (as we've come to know her) die early on as a result of an attack on her mother, Lori... who, as we know, is herself long dead. Although The Walking Dead deigned to kill young Sophia in Season 2, doing away with a baby might extend beyond the grim reach of even this show. Will Rick's infant daughter make it through the apocalypse, or will the show borrow from the comics and blow out the one glimmer of light in the sheriff's life?
And finally, our attention turns to Carol. From her meek Season 1 days, Carol has become a vibrant fan favorite, one of the show's most watchable, albeit tragic, characters. But her sorrows overtake her in the comics, leading her to commit suicide, by way of zombie, after her lover Tyreese (yes, she and Tyreese have an affair in the comics) sleeps with Michonne. Is this horrifying love triangle something we're in for in Season 4? Above all, let's hope not. You can kill the Governor, Andrea, Laurie, even the baby. But spare us our Carol.
Okay, don't kill the baby, either. That's just mortifying.
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[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]