There are always a ton of facts about tv shows that can be extremely fascinating, and one of those shows are The Walking Dead. I learn a lot more the more I dive into the show. So, I will be doing an article series where I will give the 10 fascinating facts of every season of The Walking Dead. I already started with the 1st season of the show, but now we will get to the 2nd season. Season 2 is still a very great season that not a lot of people like, but I am a fan of it. So, let’s get into the list. Here are the 10 fascinating facts about AMC’s Season 2 of The Walking Dead.
10. Michonne was played by a different actress in her brief appearance in Season 2
“In The Walking Dead’s final episode of a season, the aim was to create anticipation for the next season by introducing a beloved character from the comic book series. This character turned out to be Michonne, and the show featured her saving Andrea, who was at risk of a walker bite. The scene built up excitement and expectations for Michonne’s arrival.
However, what many might not know is that in the Season 2 finale, Michonne wasn’t portrayed by Danai Gurira but by an unknown stand-in. The role of Michonne hadn’t been officially cast at that point, but AMC wanted to tease the character’s introduction to generate buzz for Season 3. The directors opted to conceal the fact that the role hadn’t been cast by dressing the character in a cloaked robe.
This decision was somewhat risky, debuting a character who hadn’t been cast yet. Nevertheless, it turned out well. Eventually, Gurira was cast and prominently featured in Season 3, becoming one of the most beloved parts of the TV show.”
9. Patricia was originally going to be in 3 episodes this season
Season 2 of The Walking Dead encountered several backstage challenges, including alterations in stories and characters’ prolonged roles beyond the initial plans. A case in point is Patricia, one of Herschel’s farm assistants and Otis’ wife in the series. Surprisingly, the original plan was for Patricia to appear in only three episodes. Actress Jane McNeil, who portrayed Patricia, confirmed this in an interview, mentioning that she initially received a three-episode contract from AMC. However, due to her impressive acting, AMC extended her contract for the entire season. This extension not only granted her more screen time but also added to her earnings.
8. Actor James McCune was legit terrified filming his death scene
The Walking Dead can be quite terrifying, especially with its gruesome deaths depicted on the show. One of the most horrifying deaths in Season 2 occurred when Jimmy, a rather forgettable character, was devoured by walkers after driving the RV into the barn to save Rick and Carl. It was a remarkably well-executed scene, portrayed convincingly by James Allen McCune, who played Jimmy.
McCune’s portrayal in this scene was particularly compelling and realistic because he harbors a genuine fear of being eaten alive. Working on the show, he openly admitted to experiencing emotional trauma during filming.
In an interview, McCune revealed, ‘It’s one thing to watch a show and get scared, but to see these monsters up close for entire weeks and to live the situation really messes with your head. There’s some stuff towards the end of this season that kept me up at night for a long time.’ McCune suffered severe nightmares, which he utilized in his performance, especially in the final scene, to enhance the impact of the portrayal.
7. Stephen King almost wrote an episode
Now, here’s something you might not be aware of. Stephen King shared a close relationship with Frank Darabont, the original showrunner for The Walking Dead. Reports and rumors circulated suggesting that there were plans for Stephen King to join as a guest writer for the show. Unfortunately, the situation took a turn when the Darabont Debacle unfolded, leading to Frank Darabont’s departure from the show. Subsequently, all arrangements for Stephen King to write or produce an episode were scrapped. It’s unfortunate because seeing Stephen King contribute to an episode of The Walking Dead would have been fascinating. The outcome was disappointing, leaving us with the big ‘what if’ scenario of Stephen King’s involvement.
6. The Actors used Peppermint Soap throughout most of filming
During Season 2, numerous scenes were shot outdoors, primarily at the highway and Herschel’s farm. However, one significant challenge encountered during filming was the abundance of bothersome bugs that disrupted the crew and actors. To combat this issue, the crew opted to use peppermint soap as a repellent, a creative solution that doubled as a pleasant scent. It’s an intriguing method that I’m considering trying out myself next summer. Throughout the second season, the production team utilized peppermint soap to improve the filming conditions and perhaps make them smell better too.
However, that wasn’t the only instance where filming faced less-than-ideal conditions…
5. The “Beside The Dying Fire” episode was filmed in Brutal Freezing Conditions
The season 2 finale of the show is arguably the best episode of that season. However, the filming process for that particular episode was conducted under brutal freezing conditions. On the night of the farm attack filming, the temperature was a chilling 27 degrees Fahrenheit, posing significant challenges for everyone involved. The extras, who portrayed the walkers, were faced with worse cold conditions despite their costumes. In between takes, they were provided with snuggies to help warm up, and the actors also received them as the cold was relentless and made filming uncomfortable for everyone on set.
The most challenging aspect came during the editing process. Due to the extreme cold, the actors’ breath was visible, which became noticeable on screen. Since the walkers are essentially dead and shouldn’t exhibit such signs, the editors had to digitally remove the breath of every actor, a labor-intensive task. Despite budgetary constraints, the production team managed to handle this editing challenge skillfully. Overall, “Beside the Dying Fire” turned out to be a remarkable episode in Season 2, showcasing the team’s dedication and efforts in the face of adverse filming conditions.
4. Laurie Holden got Death Threats after the Chupacabra Episode
Oh boy, you know some fans can go too far. Laurie Holden is the actress who plays Andrea in ‘The Walking Dead.’ Andrea is often regarded as one of the more unlikable and poorly written characters in the show, and many people were not fans of some of the decisions she made in Season 2, Episode 5 titled ‘Chupacabra.’ One of which was accidentally shooting Daryl. Daryl, portrayed as a walker, was wounded after falling off a horse. Andrea, mistaking him for a walker, decided to shoot the ‘walker.’
When this scene aired, many people sent death threats to Laurie Holden. I mean, come on, the scene was ridiculous, but sending death threats is not cool; it just makes you look like an absolute jerk. In response to the death threats, Norman Reedus took a photo with Holden and posted it on Instagram, reassuring fans that everything was okay and urging them to stop sending death threats. This incident once again showcased how great of a person Norman Reedus is and how carried away some fans can get.
3. AMC almost killed Herschel in Season 2
Interestingly, there was almost no Hershel storyline after Season 2, a fact confirmed by both Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara. Originally, the plan involved Randall, a character held hostage by the group, being the one to kill Hershel during his escape in the “Better Angels” episodes of Season 2. However, this plan was ultimately scrapped.
The writers felt that having two major deaths within two episodes would be overwhelming for the audience. Additionally, they wanted to explore numerous character possibilities in future seasons. Losing his farm and replacing Dale’s philosophical mindset were aspects they wished to explore further.
Thankfully, they didn’t pursue this direction, allowing Hershel’s character to flourish. Scott Wilson’s phenomenal portrayal of Hershel made his presence pivotal in the show. Keeping Hershel also made Shane’s plan to kill Rick more coherent. Overall, retaining Hershel was indeed the right move for the show.
2. AMC accidentally leaked Shane’s death Mid Season
What’s the deal with AMC and leaking deaths in The Walking Dead? Interestingly, this fact was meant to be part of my ’10 Things AMC Wants You to Forget about The Walking Dead’ article. However, due to the leak of Beth Greene’s death, which led to AMC issuing an apology, that topic took precedence. Everyone seemed to anticipate Shane’s demise in the series, but it was unclear what the plan was for Beth.
Shane’s fate was pretty much anticipated, shifting from an ‘if’ to a ‘when.’ Notably, he outlasted his comic counterpart by surviving longer on the show. In the comics, Shane didn’t even make it to the Greene Farm.
The big debate during Season 2 revolved around a significant death: Rick Grimes killing Shane Walsh. Coincidentally, while Season 2 was ongoing, the AMC TV Store revealed a Blu-Ray DVD set for Season 2, advertised with descriptions including ‘Shane’s last episode.’ This was problematic as the season was still airing, inadvertently spoiling Shane’s death.
The issue escalated when AMC included photos of Shane as a zombie in the Blu-Ray set, completely ruining any element of surprise. It was a huge blunder on AMC’s part, inadvertently spoiling a major character’s death.
1. They almost went with Shane being the main character
Nope, I’m not kidding about this. In fact, Glen Mazarra confirmed during the filming of Season 2 that there were discussions about keeping Shane alive for Season 3. He was quoted as saying, ‘At one point, we considered not killing Shane… But what’s important about this season is that Rick has to step forward. He has to assume leadership of the group and confront Shane… this is Rick’s story, not Shane’s.”
Imagine if AMC and the writers had gone through with keeping Shane, the main character of the show. Jon Bernthal was phenomenal as Shane, but making him the main character instead of Rick Grimes would have severely impacted the show. The comics focus on Rick, not Shane. If the show had deviated in that way, it’s likely that comic book fans wouldn’t have stuck around. So, this was a tremendous blessing for the change here and it probably saved the show as a whole.
So, those are the 10 fascinating facts about the second season of The Walking Dead. Do you agree with this list? What other facts did you find fascinating that were not listed in this article? Let me know in the comment section, and don’t forget to give the article a like as well.