Former Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Why He Killed Off You-Know-Who in Season 3


Chandler Riggs in The Walking Dead 3.04 The Killer Within


When it comes to the entirety of “The Walking Dead” Season 3, I’m a bit on the fence. There were some really good episodes sprinkled throughout the too-long season (really, this show should only be 10 episodes a year, 16 episodes was just way too long and worse, it felt unnecessarily long), but most of it was just filler waiting for a rather anti-climatic climax (in my very humble opinion).

But of course, the one thing “The Walking Dead” Season 3 might be known for going forward was the devolution of Andrea (played by Laurie Holden) as a character. She went from being a yuppie to a sharpshooter to a take-charge survivor to, well, an intelligence-challenged … something. Sure, there are some attempts to justify her ridiculous decisions throughout the season, but ultimately her character felt written into a corner and the only way out of that was … death, as it turns out.

Laurie Holden in The Walking Dead - Season 3 - Character PortraitGlen Mazzara, the former showrunner who left after last year, was apparently the man behind that decision to kill Andrea. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mazzara defends his decision this way:

I thought it was important that we always show that no one is safe. It’s also important to show the effect that these deaths have on our other characters. Andrea’s death, for example, 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. He realizes what that means — that our group is now becoming isolated and will be picked off, that his own son is on the road to becoming the Governor (David Morrissey), so he has to open up the gates and let other people in and be compassionate. 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. 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 goes on to talk about the disparate reactions to Andrea’s death.

I personally don’t care all that much about the show not sticking to the comics (where, I’m told, Andrea is still alive). That’s what makes it fun, I think, the sense that you just never know what’s going to happen. Unfortunately I never got the “sacrifice” part of Andrea biting the bullet. It always felt inevitable and, when it finally did happen, a bit shocking, but ultimately resulted in a “meh, good riddance” shrug from me. But hey, maybe I’m just a cold-hearted bastard.

So what did you think about Mazzara’s justification for taking out Andrea?

Laurie Holden in The Walking Dead Season 2

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at)
  • Buck Nastyy

    As far as the show goes I say good-riddance. I got tired of Laurie Holden trying to defend her character all the time. She just needed to accept that her storyline sucked and she was expendable as a result.

  • Tops_Blooby

    anything that happens in this show now to move the plot along are all deus ex machina mechanics. nothing is organic. stuff just happens to get the story where it needs to go and that’s too bad.

  • ErickKwon

    Don’t care why, just so happy they did it. I always thought Andrea and earlier, Dale, suffered because they seemed designed to represent the voice of dissent or some shit, but they ultimately became nothing more than contrarian plot devices. I wonder if the characters would’ve lasted as long as they did if the actors hadn’t been members of Frank Darabont’s stock company. And on the subject of devolving, Andrea at the end was nothing more than a series of physical tics (the duckface, the inquisitive/accusatory head nods, the pissed off walk) performed by an actress who seemed to know the writers couldn’t get their heads around her character. I found the “Talking Dead” episode following the finale unintentionally hilarious since none of the guest or Chris Hardwick seemed willing to acknowledge how bad the character was.

  • Aegon the Conqueror

    I started hating this show this season, after thinking it was one of the top five best shows on tv in its first season. They really should take a hint from the game when it comes to writing. The third season was shit, the writing was shit and the characters were shit. I cheered when Andrea died. Not sure if I will watch the fourth season, especially seeing as it’s ten episodes too long again.

  • Scott

    Killing off a character as a “blood sacrifice” is a bizarre way to explain it. Mazzara doesn’t sound like an actual writer. (Not a good one at any rate.)
    Personally i was ready to see Andrea go after a season of being an idiot, and don’t blame anyone for killing her… but this interview makes Mazzara sound like an incompetent show runner who’s trying to sound smart.

    As a writer, one thinks about how decisions and circumstances affect characters, and how those characters will react. There’s no mystical zero sum game where you sacrifice one chunk of story in order for something completely unrelated to happen.

    Oh wait.
    Unless that “blood sacrifice” was offered up to the accountants. Then it makes a lot more sense.