‘Walking Dead’ Creator Puts Love To The Test

Can Rick and Lori's marriage survive the zombie apocalypse? Robert Kirkman weighs in on the strained couple's future.

Warning: spoilers for the latest “Walking Dead” lie ahead.

Rick Grimes has no problem killing zombies. Heck, he’s pretty okay with killing humans as well. (Please refer to Shane’s heart-breaking demise last season, and Tomas’ head-splitting exit this week.) But looking his own wife in the eye? Now there’s a challenge!

Two episodes into season three of “The Walking Dead,” it’s clear that one of Rick’s very biggest obstacles is his own personal life. Months and months have passed since the events of season two, but time has not healed the wounds between Rick and his wife Lori. Their marriage remains on the rocks following the murder of Shane Walsh; Rick killed his old best pal to keep his wife and group safe, an absolutely appalling act in Lori’s eyes.

Lori’s opinions on Rick killing people to keep others alive seems to have softened a touch based on the latest episode, “Sick.” But even throwing her full support behind her husband isn’t enough to win him over again. By all appearances, the rift between the two is all but irreparable — and that tense dynamic is not going away anytime soon, “Walking Dead” creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman warns.

“Despite all of the changes and evolution the characters went through in the winter we didn’t see, Rick and Lori have not reconciled. They’ve only grown further apart,” he told MTV News about the marriage at the core of the series. “Their relationship has hit the skids. The fact that they are so distant and angry with each other, despite the fact that they’re completely stuck with each other, is something we’re going to continue exploring quite a bit this season.”

Love isn’t in the air for Rick and Lori, maybe, but it sure is for Glenn and Maggie, who found their way to each other’s arms during the second season’s farm storyline. During “Sick,” Glenn was charged with killing Hershel if the old farmer never recovered from his severed leg and returned to life as a zombie. Clearly worried about that possible outcome, Glenn was relieved to find a Maggie who was willing to do the hard thing herself if it came to it. Between that and their side-by-side slaying of walkers in the season premiere, it’s clear that this is one couple that’s perfectly in sync.

“I’ve always thought of Glenn and Maggie as the most hopeful aspect of ‘The Walking Dead,’ both in the comic and the TV show,” said Kirkman. “The fact that these two have found each other and fallen in love, are having a great and supportive relationship, is something of a beacon of hope in this very dark and depressing world. We’ll see them grow even closer as the season progresses.”

Which isn’t to say that it’ll always be smooth sailing for the show’s power-couple. “Their relationship will definitely be put to the test,” Kirkman teased.

Can love survive the apocalypse? Let us know what you think in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @roundhoward!

Likes pizza, punch and pie. Dislikes the Chitauri.
@roundhoward