On this past Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Killer Within,” fans were shocked at the death of two major characters in the series. Many people on social media poured out their sympathies for these characters, with their names trending throughout the evening. Even AMC’s Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick was shocked by the turn of events and he’s known about it for months!
According to series creator and writer Robert Kirkman, it was all part of the grand scheme of the series.
Spoiler Alert: The following contains spoilers for episode four of the third season-
As many will now know, it looks like even containing yourself inside a prison does not guarantee safety in the zombie apocalypse as last night fans saw the departure of both IronE Singleton and Sarah Wayne Callies, better known as T-Dog and Lori Grimes. Thanks to the sabotaging of the prison by released and thought to be dead inmate Andrew regular viewers witnessed the selfless sacrifice of T-Dog, hopefully saving the life of Carol (Melissa McBride), who’s currently MIA.
And in what many would call a heartless act by the writers young Carl was forced to shoot his own mother after the emergency c-section performed while the prison was under siege. As if seeing his mother get split open wasn’t brain-rattling enough, the poor kid had to blow her brains out! If anything Carl is now on equal ground with his father Rick when it comes to mental instability.
In a discussion with Entertainment Weekly Kirkman said, like with every death, it’s all planned out,
Well, like with any death on Walking Dead, it’s all about sitting down and figuring out what gives us the best story and what realistically portrays that world. I’ve always said that people are going to die — that’s just how we’re telling the story — and to not have people dying left and right would just be fake to me. We didn’t think we could get through that prison riot-with-zombies kind of thing without losing a few characters. So, when we sat down to figure out who was going to go [we thought about] the things that Lori’s death does to Carl and Rick but also to Maggie and other characters. It’s really important that we focus on that kind of stuff and I think that death gives us the most story coming out of it. So, that’s what we did!
…The Walking Dead really is us in the writers room sitting around trying to make Rick Grimes’ life as unbearable as possible.
And yes, Lori’s death was tragic, resulting in the apparent snapping of Rick’s mind, but what really got people freaking out was the heroic death of T-Dog after being bitten trying to secure the prison gate. Many were outraged at the decision to kill of one of the shows fan favourite characters, but by the time he held back the contingent of walkers for Carol’s escape we were cheering his decision.
For Kirkman, T-Dog’s death was something to provide the show with a semblance of humanity and sacrifice, that even in a world filled with scoundrels there are still people willing to give their life to save another. And in his eyes it was the right way to go,
Well, again, we’re just trying to portray this world realistically. I think T-Dog really stepped up this season and was extremely heroic and we really wanted him to go out with a hero’s death. The fact that he knew that he was dead but still tried to do whatever he could to hopefully save Carol – although it is pretty ambiguous as to what exactly happened to her. But, yeah, we wanted to show someone really just making a sacrifice and doing whatever he could to protect someone.
Death isn’t something that is taken lightly in television, it’s that catalyst to a single or a group of individuals development in dire situations. Without it you’ve got people standing there with their thumbs up their butts.
The deaths of T-Dog and Lori will have a lasting effect on everyone in the remaining group, including Lori’s newborn child, but this shows that even series favourites like Daryl, Glenn and Maggie are fair game. Nobody is truly safe.
Source: Entertainment Weekly