Future Tense: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3

We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense.

Warning:  This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season three premiere, past seasons of the show, and spoilers for the comic series, specifically volumes three through eight.

To most of its 10.9 million (and counting) viewers, The Walking Dead on AMC is just a television show filled with zombies and violence. However, to many of the fans of the original comic series, part of the fun of The Walking Dead is seeing how the production team adapts the comics for the small screen while still keeping the story fresh and interesting.

I love to compare and contrast the two mediums, and to predict how I think the show will progress based on the original story; that is what keeps me coming back week after week.

I’m going to make some predictions for season three of The Walking Dead based on story arcs from the comic book series. I’m giving each prediction a rating:

Unlikely to happen = 
Almost definitely will happen = 

I have absolutely no clue what’s going to happen in this season of The Walking Dead. These are merely the speculations of a fangirl. That being said, let’s begin…


Lori dies

While Lori’s death seems to be nearly an absolute certainty, it remains to be seen if Lori’s death will happen during season three. In the comic series, the crew gets to the prison in volume three, and Lori doesn’t die until late in volume eight. There’s a lot that happens in the meantime. Based on that knowledge, it’s easy to say that her death isn’t imminent.

Could Lori’s confiding in Hershel during the season premiere be a foreshadowing of her impending death? Probably not. More than likely it’s a tease from the writers. However, I’m sure there were more than a few fans fantasizing about a zombie baby bursting from Lori’s stomach. (Guilty.)

I’m thinking if Lori’s death does happen this season, it will most likely be near the very end. If the writers want her death to mean anything, she’s going to have to patch up her relationship with Rick and Carl. Otherwise, she’s just another number added to the body count.


The murderous inmate

In one of the bigger twists from early in the prison storyline, one of the four surviving inmates, a “tax evader” named Thomas, brutally murders Hershel’s young twin daughters. He later assaults Andrea, is beaten nearly to death by Rick, and later shot to death by Maggie.

This seems like too big of a plot point to not use in the TV series. Since Hershel’s twins aren’t in the series, it’s possible that Beth could end up taking their place. Another difference is that Patricia (who tries to free Thomas, leading to his death) has already been killed off in the TV series.

According to The Walking Dead Wiki, Thomas in the television adaptation will be very different than in the comic series, so it’s possible that another one of the five inmates is the killer. Even though it might be another inmate who commits the crime, I’m fairly certain that someone’s going to end up murdered in cold blood this season.


The Governor amputates Rick’s hand

The whole plot regarding The Governor is going to be interesting to see. There are a lot of messed up things going on with that character. Some things will have to be discarded for time, content, and practicality. Here, it’s a toss-up as to whether or not the loss of Rick’s hand will be impractical for the show.

It’s a huge part of the story that comic fans will expect, but not one that the writers will necessarily deliver. Plus, it would be a pain in the butt to fake an amputation for the rest of the series.

The question is, will the loss of his hand really change Rick? He’s a much more jaded character than he was in the comics at this stage in the story. Perhaps we shouldn’t be looking at how practical the effect will be, but if it will bring about any interesting character developments. In my opinion, cutting off Rick’s hand shouldn’t be as high a priority as developing his relationship with the other survivors.


Penny, the little zombie girl

As a nod to the comic fans, the television writers should introduce The Governor’s zombified niece, Penny. There’s something a little sad and a little funny about the fact that The Governor keeps her chained up in his house as though she were a pet. Also, The Governor in the comics has a wall of decapitated, animated walker heads in fish tanks as a substitute for television.

Will the powers that be keep these scenes in the television show? I don’t see why not, especially if they’re sticking closely to The Governor’s story in the books. This is one of the rare so-bizarre-you-have-to-laugh moments in the series.


Hershel dies from his bitten leg

At the end of the first episode, Hershel’s ankle was bitten by a walker. This happens twice in the books to two different characters in the prison. The first is Allen, the second is Dale. Many people have speculated that Hershel will live on as Dale did, however, the amputation scene shown in the TV show mirrors Allen’s demise. Allen’s leg was taken off with a hatchet, Dale’s with a hacksaw.

There’s still a good chance that Hershel is going to live through the ordeal, much as Dale did, so I’m going to give this a slim chance of happening. Plus, Hershel’s death from the comic series is too powerful to throw his character away on a mere walker bite. Anyone can die at any time in this show, but my money is on Hershel living until at least the end of this season.


The attack on the prison

The prison attack is suck a pivotal part of the comic series that it’s almost certain to happen. Again, like Lori’s death, it’s possible that the prison story arc spans multiple seasons. It’s also possible that The Governor’s siege on the prison won’t happen until season four. Regardless of when it happens, the prison attack must happen.


There are so many other events that could pop up along the way, but for the sake of brevity I had to pick what I felt were the six most important events. From Carol’s attempted suicide to Judith’s birth, there are a lot of events for the The Walking Dead writing team to choose from, if they even decide to use events from the books at all. No matter what happens, the third season premiere of The Walking Dead has made a promise that this season will be full of surprises.


Filed Under: ColumnsFuture Tense

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Who ARE these people!?

Mary Knize, Captain Painway, "C-Pain", and formerly Mary Staggs, was Panels on Pages' May 2010 Fangirl of the Month and is a former rollergirl. When she's not busy writing, she's probably playing a video game. She also loves Wikipedia and science.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Ben Gilbert says:

    I think the prison raid won’t happen until season 4. The bulk of this season will probably be devoted to the killer inmate angle, especially since the volumes set in the prison were fairly light on zombies. I also doubt they’ll do a zombie birth, especially since Zack Snyder did a similar thing in the Dawn of the Dead remake. Regardless, I’m stoked to see how the show adapts this part of the story.

    • Mary Staggs says:

      I really doubt they would do a zombie birth. They’re dangling a carrot for the fans who want to see Lori dead.

      I hope they don’t spend the whole season on the killer inmate. That’s too much like the search for Sophia that ate up so much of season two. If they do that, they need to add in a generous amount of story that features The Governor and Michonne. Gotta keep it spicy!

  2. Daviid Page says:

    Another major change which could affect the Thomas story is Andrea is nowhere near the prison in the show.

  3. keith says:

    kirkman said in an interview:

    “Constantly, we’re up against things in the comics where it would be awesome if Rick could… oh, Rick can’t do that, he only has one hand. That is something that I regret”

    so id be surprised if they did it in the tv show. not to mention the extra cost FX wise of having the main character an amputee for the rest of the show!

    • Mary Staggs says:

      I had completely forgotten about that. I have heard that Kirkman regretted amputating Rick’s hand.

      I agree about the cost, too. It won’t be too hard to “Lieutenant Dan” Hershel for however long he lasts, since you can always get around that with shots from the waist up. But hands… that’s harder. I mean, Luke Skywalker even gets a replacement hand ASAP.

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