The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara has given us quite a few hints at what to expect in the upcoming third season, and as the premiere date creeps closer, he’s giving us a little more.

When Mazzara talked with The Huffington Post today, he explained how the group is really going to struggle this season. Beware of spoilers.

“I just wanted a bigger scope. I just wanted to feel that the whole world had gone to hell and our characters were trapped in it.”

Everything is going to get more intense – if you can imagine that – and according to Mazzara, Walking Dead fans will be surprised to see where the show takes us:

“I wanted to continue to pose interesting moral dilemmas to the audience – to the characters and our audience – and I really wanted to make it more intense. I wanted the show to be unpredictable, I wanted the show to be thrilling, I wanted the show to be surprising and to stay very far ahead of the audience so that they have no idea what’s coming next.”

One of those unexpected twists we got at the end of last season was the introduction of Michonne, who is a fan favorite of the comics. She’s tough, and The Walking Dead writers are making sure that people know it.

“She’s a warrior, she’s a solider, she doesn’t take crap from anybody and she sees right into the heart of people. It’s hard to pull one over on her. She plays a very, very important role this season.”

Of her popularity among fans, he thinks it will only grow:

“I just think people will be excited to follow her journey because she really, in some ways, becomes one of the hearts of the show. She becomes a very, very essential figure.”

Michonne is one of the leading ladies on The Walking Dead, and Mazzara stresses the importance of the ways in which he wanted the women to be shown on the screen:

“Here was a goal of mine this year: to really portray the women in a more realistic light that is very affective, as more well-rounded. I think that we really spent a lot of time in really developing Andrea’s character, Michonne’s character, I think Lori has grown a lot after life on the road. Everybody has to contribute to the group, not just in a stereotypical way regarding gender roles, but everybody has to be able to do everything for everyone else. We really put a lot of effort into making sure our female characters did not play as victims or any weaker stereotypes. That was very, very important to us.”

But don’t expect too many happy moments this season. In the comics, the group’s time in the prison is grim and gruesome, including aspects of torture and rape. Will the show include all of these dark bits?

“We’re not going to shy away from any dark material, but I will say that fans will be surprised at the dark material that we do show. What we actually take from the comic book and what original dark material we have coming up, will really surprise the audience.”

And, spoiler alert, Mazzara gives some hints on who may be meeting their maker this season. In the comics, Lori and her baby die at the end of the group’s time in the prison. But will that be the case in the show? The deaths aren’t always the same in the comics as they are in the show.

For example, Carl kills Shane at the end of volume one in the comics, but his character was much more developed in the show. Mazzara teases, but doesn’t give us any concrete evidence on who we can expect to die this season.

“We talk about everyone’s demise to the chagrin of all of the actors. All I can promise is there will be major character deaths throughout Season 3, but I can’t possibly say who or where, but I guarantee all of them will be surprising.”

So we take it to mean that it’s not going to be Lori. But who know? Maybe Mazzara thinks that if he says something like this, we’ll think it’s not Lori, so then it will actually be Lori. If that makes any sense.

These showrunners like to play with our emotions, we can’t always trust them. Mazzara and The Walking Dead crew might soon be joining the likes of the ever-frustrating Steven Moffat.

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