'The Walking Dead': Robert Kirkman talks about last night's fatalities-filled season finale

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I got the impression that you were also very sorry to lose Milton. You certainly gave him one of the longer death scenes in TV history.
[Laughs] Yes. Like a full episode? It’s either we loved that character or we hated him and wanted to torture him.

I’m going to say that you loved hm.
I’m going to say that we loved him as well.

I feel the Governor never really gave him the resources he needed for his zombie research.
Yeah. They were like, “Okay, you’re working on that? Great. We’re gonna go over here and shoot some people and give you no resources whatsoever.” You know, [with enough resources] he might have been able to figure something out. But then where would we have been?

Andrea and Milton do seem to have been partly architects of their own terrible respective fates, by attempting to work with the Governor.
To a certain extent. The way I like to look at it is, Andrea was willing to do whatever she could to save the good people of Woodbury and she ended up giving her life for it. I’m sure she would have liked to have things work out a different way. But in the end she did accomplish that goal. Her death has resulted in Rick bringing these people into the prison and them forming one community. She did accomplish something but it cost her life in the end. Which is pretty tragic.

I’m hoping on the DVD that you’ll be including a bonus extra of the Walking Dead writers trying to pick up pliers with their feet.
[Laughs] I can pick up almost anything with my feet.

Because you’re extremely agile or extremely lazy?
I stopped bending over when I was about 12. I was like, “Wait a minute, I can pick that up with my toes. Sweet!”

We didn’t have the chance to talk last week so I think we need to discuss the demise of Merle. How much discussion was there about whether or not to kill him?
That was a huge debate. As I say, every death is an important decision. When it came down to it, it was everything that he does for Daryl. We had seen Daryl’s character grow so much without Merle and it was a lot of fun seeing him revert back to old behavior and seeing how having his brother around affected him. But in the end we felt that losing that character would activate the Daryl character in so many different and interesting ways that it seemed almost essential to the show. We also kind of made Merle a hero on the way out. That’s what that character’s journey ended up being and we thought that was very interesting.

I did find his zombification rather haunting.
It’s one of the rare times that we actually show one of our characters, someone that you’ve really gotten to know, made up full-zombie. He had time to go full-zombie. We don’t often get to do that. Shane was very fresh, Amy was very fresh. Milton? Very fresh. Merle was the real deal. And seeing a character that you’ve gotten to know so well in that state is hopefully jarring. We want people to see just how scary it is to see someone who was a loved one, who was a relative, come back in that state.

Next: “We should be very worried about Carl.”

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