Who decides who lives and who dies on The Walking Dead? It’s not comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman, or the suits at AMC, or — sadly — any of us.
"I do,” showrunner Scott Gimple told Larry King, “and it's not easy, but it's all about serving the story." So blame or bribe Scott when it comes to the fate of your favorites.
Does our own Angel of Death ever regret killing a beloved character? Scott said he always does. What about a hated character? Not if it serves the story.
Scott expanded on the death subject to Larry King: “I want most characters that die on the show — most of them, not all of them, 'cause there are villains — I want the audience to love them. I want them to feel when they die. And even when The Governor died — who was a character who was a villain — he flirted with humanity, he almost made it, and he died when he decided to turn away from humanity." (This is why you never go Full Shane.)
Larry mentioned how the sudden deaths are tough on the actors; they can’t really sign a three-year contract or whatnot. Scott acknowledged it's a year-to-year thing, but he said Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) has the best perspective on it, saying TWD helps her to live in the moment. You never know when your phone is going to ring, with Scott on the line to give you “the talk.”
Who will get the talk in Season 5? The actors should be learning their season fates pretty soon — if not already — and filming starts in early May down in Georgia. Maybe we should stop loving any of the characters, since that seems to only doom them...
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.
Source: Larry King, via Hulu