"The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman participated in his first-ever Reddit AMA this week, and, unsurprisingly, shared lots of good scoop on the AMC series that wraps up its fourth season on March 30. And about that finale: He says we should expect a "savage" episode and a huge cliffhanger.
[Related: Take a Bite Out of Our 'Walking Dead' Recaps]
"Savage," Kirkman answered in response to a one-word summation of the season ender. "Honestly … people are going to be talking about this one. The cliffhanger at the end of Season 4 will make the wait between Seasons 4 and 5 the hardest wait we've ever had. ENJOY!"
Other highlights from the chat:
Will we ever learn what happened to Beth after her (alleged) abduction in "Alone"?
"We will see Beth again … eventually," Kirkman says. This season? Will she still be alive when we see her? Those questions remain.
Emily Kinney talks Season 4 finale:
He insists, no character or actor on the series is too popular to be killed off [even Norman Reedus's Daryl]:
"In my opinion, I feel like characters ripen like fruit. So while I wouldn't say the more popular a character is the more likely they are to die, they do have to reach a certain level of popularity before they've 'earned' the death," Kirkman says. "No character is too popular to die. (Suck it, Reedus!)"
Yes, even Andrew Lincoln's Rick:
"ABSOLUTELY NOT," he responded (all caps are his) when asked if Rick is safe. "Although when I look in Andrew Lincoln's piercing blue eyes, I feel safe."
Will any other characters get their own novels, like with the "Walking Dead" novels that unfolded the backstory of the Governor (and served as inspiration for that character's storyline in the first half of Season 4)?
Indeed. "There will be more novels. Jay Bonansinga is killing it with those books, and I'm really excited about doing more. Stay tuned to the news over at thewalkingdead.com," Kirkman says.
P.S. The fourth and final entry in the Governor novel series, "The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part Two" was released earlier this month.
Kirkman's favorite scenes from the TV series so far are probably some of your favorites, too:
"Off the top of my head, the talk between Rick and Morgan in 'Clear' is high on my list. The scene between Hershel and Glenn in Season 2 when he talks about whether or not Glenn is good enough for Maggie and gives him the watch is also a favorite," he says. "Michonne stabbing the Governor in ['Too Far Gone'] was pretty rad, too."
Yep, one good storyteller appreciates another: Of course he's a "Game of Thrones" fan:
When asked if he's worried "TWD" TV show is unfolding so quickly he's afraid it'll move faster than the comics — a fear "GoT" author George R.R. Martin has expressed about the HBO adaptation of his books — Kirkman replied, "I'm comfortably ahead of the series. We do at least 12 issues a year (sometimes more), and the show does 16 a year … so it's possible it could eventually catch up, but I'm currently so far ahead I don't think it will happen. That said, George R.R. Martin better get to writing! I want my 'Game of Thrones'!"
Why yes, he does have thoughts about the "showrunner musical chair routine" on "TWD," and he expressed them thusly:
"Our showrunner musical chair routine is not entirely uncommon in television. There have been countless shows that have changed showrunners and some even from season to season. It's unfortunate that this show exists under such a microscope and the behind the scenes drama has been pushed into the spotlight … but it's a small price to pay for the success that we've had, so I'll take it.
"It would be wrong for me to go into any details on the various changeovers, because for the most part I was really only on the sidelines during the changes. Although, I will state for the record that I do agree with AMC's decisions in each case, and strongly feel they were only acting with the show's best interests in mind.
I think Frank [Darabont] set the show up with a solid foundation to build upon and gave us a directing and visual style for the show that we still use because it's superb and has been a big part of what makes us stand apart on television. This show wouldn't exist without him and his work on the pilot still holds up as one of our strongest episodes. We were lucky to have a director of his caliber involved in the show from day one.
"Glen [Mazzara] was a shot in the arm that the show needed in its second season and his instincts to move story up and really heighten the pace at times was a welcome addition to the show. The level of energy he brought to the show is something we still try to maintain. Personally, Glen was very good to me as a novice television writer, and I feel that he was a great teacher whose lessons I still use often on the show. I owe him a lot.
"Scott Gimple is an absolute rock star. I think that looking back at Season 4 as a whole, it is by far our strongest season. The show is intense when it needs to be and slows down and digs into the interpersonal character drama in ways we never achieved without him. Scott's been integral to the show since he came on board for Season 2 and honestly knows more about this world than I do. (And he definitely remembers the ins and outs of the comic book way better than me)."
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.