The Walking Dead's third season is inevitably leading toward one big showdown between lead character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and new antagonist the Governor (David Morrissey). The two have been on a collision course since the beginning of the season, and while the two probably glimpsed each other during the shootout in the episode "Home," they still haven't faced off in that inevitable confrontation. And really, it's expected that once they do clash, only one of them is walking out alive. And, since Rick is the star of the series, it's probably going to be Rick that survives.
Lincoln, Morrissey, and creator Robert Kirkman are working to cast doubt on that. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the trio stressed that the remainder of the season will be unpredictable.
"We'll have to wait and see if [the Governor] survives but I sure as hell hope so. He's going to fight tooth and nail with everything he's got to survive. He is a survivor," said Morrissey.
"It's entirely possible [that the Governor could make it to season four]," Kirkman agreed. "It's a very dangerous world and things are just getting more dangerous as Rick and the Governor seem to both be kind of losing their minds in different ways and are on this huge collision course. Something bad is going to happen to one of them. We'll see where things go."
But if the Governor lives, that means Rick dies, right?
"I'll admit that Rick is definitely the thematic core, the character we met first, and the character whose journey we've been following. It's an unexpected series, so who really knows. Maybe, I dunno!"
Lincoln agreed that Rick's chances of surviving were lower after the events of season 3: "After they took Rick's wife away, I think Rick lost about 20 percent. I'd say 50-50 [on him surviving the season]!"
I'm still not convinced. It would take a significant amount of courage for the series too kill off its hero in favor of its villain surviving. And, even if it did, I'm not sure that would necessarily be a smart narrative move. I feel like we need to be more worried about the survivals of the supporting characters -- Andrea, Glenn, Michonne, Merle, Hershel -- because you can bet that out of those I just listed, at least one probably won't be making it out of the season alive.
The Walking Dead airs its next episode, "Clear," this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.