This is the time of year when The Walking Dead fans get especially touchy about death teases. There are only two episodes left on Season 4, and history suggests someone we know will die. We just lost two characters in Lizzie and Mika Samuels, but we’re talking Atlanta/farm OGs. Will they make it through the season?
Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman had a Reddit AMA on March 19 and he was uncharacteristically candid. He seemed to have fun with it. One fan asked if popularity affects the survival rate of characters. “Have you ever killed a character just because they were popular and you wanted to shake things up?” He answered, “In my opinion, I feel like characters ripen like fruit. So while I wouldn't say the more popular a character is the more likely they are to die, they do have to reach a certain level of popularity before they've ‘earned’ the death. No character is too popular to die. (Suck it, Reedus!)”
Deep breaths, rioters! He’s just being a smart-arse! Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) earned himself a poignant death earlier on Season 4, but on TV redshirts die more often than popular characters. Poor David didn’t really earn his death. Neither did Zach, Patrick, Karen, Meghan, Lilly, Alisha, Dr. S., Mitch, Pete, those people we never knew who got the flu, the people who died in the prison battle, and everyone who managed to die so quickly on the bus. (Serious fail, bus redshirts.)
But if they wait for characters to achieve a certain level of popularity before they die, that could bode ill for someone like Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), who has finally come into her own. Another fan asked what RK could tell us about Beth’s outcome after her supposed kidnapping. All RK would say is, “We will see Beth again... eventually.” You could probably imagine that on your own, but it doesn’t tell us the state Beth will be in when we see her, or if “eventually” won’t happen until Season 5.
Back to Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), though. Another fan mentioned how Robert and Norman are working on a movie together. “How's your relationship with Reedus and the rest of the cast? Does it influence in their character's fate?” RK answered, “It honestly doesn't. Everybody knows the score and everyone knows what they're getting into when they sign on. I think I have a good relationship with all the actors. I love them all, except for Steven Yeun, I f—ing hate that guy.” Ha! Poor Glenn. RK was cheeky through the whole interview, also responding to a question on whether Rick Grimes was a “safe” character by answering, “ABSOLUTELY NOT. Although when I look in Andrew Lincoln's piercing blue eyes I FEEL safe.”
No one is safe — although your odds improve if you sleep with Norman. As another fan asked, “I heard Norman Reedus offered to sleep with you, if you would put him in the comic. What would I have to do for you to put my name on one of the characters in the comic?” RK’s answer: “Sleep with Norman Reedus.” Tough job, but someone has to do it!
You can’t really take anything RK says too seriously, but this show is not shy about killing off core characters — from Dale and Shane to Lori, T-Dog, Andrea and Hershel. Who will be next?
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: Reddit AMA