Former ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Defends Major Character’s Season Three Death

The creative minds behind “The Walking Dead” have shown time and again that they’re happy to deviate from the comic book source material, especially where prominent deaths are concerned. Shane stuck around longer on the show, Dale had a much earlier exit … and yet another fan-favorite character from the comics bit the dust much sooner than expected during the season three finale.

It was a death that some die-hard “Walking Dead” fans weren’t exactly pleased about. Season three’s showrunner Glen Mazzara opened up about the development in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, defending the choice to kill the character off.

Spoilers after the break.

According to Mazzara, the decision to kill Andrea was made over the course of season three’s development. He said that someone had to make “an ultimate sacrifice” for the season to have a proper impact.

“I knew Rick was going to finally open up the gates of the prison after a season in which he’s trying to hide away from the world and lock everybody away and keep them safe,” said Mazzara. “At the end of the finale, he brings in these women, children and elderly people and the group is going to transform. There needed to be a blood sacrifice for that, and there had to be a price that was paid.”

“Andrea paying that price was important,” he continued. “She is unable to re-enter the group. In a way, a lot of what she did was bring the two groups together. But she’s never able to enter the prison and be reunited in a full way with Rick’s group. That was an ultimate sacrifice that was worthy of the season finale.”

Mazzara, who is not returning for the fourth season of “Walking Dead,” added that he’s heard both positive and negative feedback to Andrea’s death.

“There’s a very vocal group saying that they’re dissatisfied with Andrea’s death, which shows that her death meant something; it affected people emotionally,” he said.

As for how Andrea’s death deviates from the comic books, where she remains very much alive, Mazzara defended the choice. “I don’t give people credence if after running the show for 29 out of 35 episodes people are surprised that I deviated from the comic book. I’ve never once said I was sticking to the comic book. The show has never struck closely to the comic. In episode 35, if we have a surprising death, it’s in line with everything I’ve always delivered.”

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