After last season’s finale, we already know that the dynamic will be different in The Walking Dead season 3. Some characters were lost, but we’re also getting a few new ones who are ready to stir the pot.

Glen Mazzara, showrunner for The Walking Dead, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to let us know what we can expect from the upcoming season, and it’s “intense.”

“It would be hard, after those last two episodes of season two, to go back to a quieter version of the show. When those walkers come through the farm at the end and everybody has to hit the road, all hell has broken loose. It is hard to put the genie back in the bottle. The pace is very different this year; it’s a lot more suspenseful and intense than it was last year.”

With all of the hard decisions that had to be made last year, Rick and the group are in a different place, what many are calling the “Ricktatorship.” When the group meets the Governor, they see him as threat, but he also views them as a threat, too. After the destruction Rick and the gang brought to Herschel’s farm, Mazzara says, “Our core group is really like the plague.”

Lori is feeling guilty over Shane’s death, and Rick is trying to work on his relationship with her. There is room there for a potential division among the group. Of Lori, Mazzara reveals, “Her pregnancy feels like a weight that the entire group is carrying while they were on the road.”

If you’ve read the comics, you know there are some rough roads ahead, including a lot of intense subject matter. But AMC is willing to let the show tackle just about anything.

“There is a tremendous amount of leeway. AMC is interested in pushing the boundaries. We do have material this season that’s darker than the comics. There is some very dark material that’s darker than how certain things played out in the comics.”

Things to expect from this season: Merle is returning, Andrea is split from the group (and could there be a possible romance with the Governor?), lots of action from Michonne, and more T-Dog!

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