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