'Walking Dead' Showrunner Recounts Season Two's Shocking Deaths

We're about to go into spoiler territory for season two of "The Walking Dead." The AMC zombie series is viewed by many and has been off the air for several weeks now, but just in case there are a few stragglers still lagging behind, we're going to put this discussion past the break.

Join us if you want a little extra insight on the two biggest "Walking Dead" deaths from last season.

Glen Mazzara, showrunner of "Walking Dead," spoke at length with The Hollywood Reporter about his decision to kill off Dale and Shane this season. According to the executive producer, Dale's death came about as a means of shocking longtime comic book readers, who know that Dale doesn't die until much later on in the comics.

"We had some major deaths. Jon’s character, and Jeff DeMunn’s, which was the big shock," he said. "We’re based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, so people saw the Shane death coming, and Bernthal knew that it was coming. I felt it was sort of anticlimactic because everybody who had read the book knew that was coming. When I became showrunner, I had already talked to the other writers about killing off Jeff DeMunn’s character because I thought nobody would see that coming."

As for Bernthal, it sounds like the actor really didn't want to lose Shane, despite all signs pointing towards his eventual demise.

"Jon did not want to go," said Mazzara. "He kept calling: 'How about this? How about that?' I have an open-door policy, but ultimately I needed that to be about our main character. I had to stick the landing. I’ve had other people on the show who think it’s punitive when they are killed off, and it's like, 'Well, you signed up for a zombie show!'"

Tell us what you think of Mazzara's rationale in the comments or on Twitter!