Credit: Photo via Twitter Photo: Norman Reedus Poses With Greg Nicotero

Remember when the biggest crisis on The Walking Dead was trying to find Sophia? How quaint.

Now, on Season 4, we have a deadly flu in the prison, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) killing two group members, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) banishing her for the killings, Tyreese (Chad Coleman) still mad and not knowing what happened, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) probably getting extra mad at Rick and being devastated about Carol, and the whole business with The Governor (David Morrissey) returning. He’s probably not coming back with flowers and an apology for all his Season 3 drama. And we still haven’t solved this rats at the fence mystery, so for all we know it’s a lot darker than just Lizzie wanting to feed her walker boyfriend, Nick.

It’s a big ol’ honkin’ disaster.

Or as executive producer/special effects guru Greg Nicotero recently put it at Walker Stalker Con, “This season is a lot darker than we’ve gone in the past. The first episode where everything’s kind of, you know, the prison’s going on fine. They’ve got a community, and things seem to be working out. You know when Michonne jokes with Rick, and Carol calls Daryl ‘Pookie,’ and he goes ‘pffth’ and all that. Those moments were there for a reason, because now that the crap has hit the fan, it’s a little harder. This season is definitely darker.”

Yes, it’s already dark and the lights are probably going to dim even further. Greg also noted that they’ve added more comic book material to this season than the last two. “[Showrunner] Scott Gimple loves the comic book. He’s really, really dedicated to it. You know, we’ve sort of changed scenarios. Things that happen to one character in the comic book happen to a different character on the show. Because we don’t want it to just be a carbon copy, otherwise everybody would know what’s going to happen.”

We definitely don’t know what’s going to happen, but we do know three characters from the comic books will be arriving later this season: Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). We’ll see a version of their stories from the comics.

Also, comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman told AMC he wrote Episodes 3 and 9 this season, adding that “Episode 9 will probably be the episode that’s closest to a direct adaptation from the comic book aside from the premiere episode. It’s been a lot of fun for me working on them because I’m basically just rewriting something I’ve already written, which means I get to go back in and go, ‘Woah, what’d you do there? Let’s fix that.’”

Andrew Lincoln has already said Episode 9 would be a big one for Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs).

So this season will be dark, but with more elements from the original source material — even if they’re shaken and stirred a bit.

Are you ready for what’s ahead, or already wishing things could lighten up for our group?

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Sources: Comicbook.com, AMC