There are always a ton of facts about TV shows that can be extremely fascinating, and one of those shows is 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. For this article, the focus will be on Season 3 which is a very amazing episode. So, let’s get into the list: Here are the 10 fascinating facts about AMC’s Season 3 of The Walking Dead.

10. Lauren Cohan almost quit the show this season

Let’s revisit an incident mentioned in a previous article on this website, titled ‘10 Things AMC Wants You to Forget About The Walking Dead.‘ In Season 3 of the show, AMC nearly lost Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, as she felt uncomfortable filming a scene that she believed went too far.

The scene in question happened in Episode 4, ‘Killer Within.’ This was when Lori Grimes died during childbirth, and Judith Grimes was born. In the scene, Maggie’s character has to perform a C-section on Lori to save the baby (Judith), while Lori’s young son, Carl Grimes, watches. After the baby was born, Carl shot Lori dead. It was a sequence that Cohan was hesitant to do and she seriously considered leaving the show.

Fortunately, she did not leave after having a heartfelt conversation with Steven Yeun, who portrays Glenn in The Walking Dead. Glenn was Maggie’s husband/boyfriend in the show, and both actors had filmed many scenes together. Cohan discussed her feelings about the scene with Yeun and her desire to depart from the show.

AMC narrowly avoided a significant setback when Cohan opted to stay. Having a different actress portray Maggie Greene in The Walking Dead wouldn’t have been the same, considering Cohan’s phenomenal acting skills. Additionally, it could have altered the writers’ plans for the show, which fortunately did not occur.

9. Scott Wilson often fell asleep while shooting the scenes where Hershel is unconscious

The Walking Dead aimed to start the season on a strong note, and one surprising moment occurred with Hershel Greene. In the first few episodes, Hershel loses his leg when a walker bits him; a highly shocking moment in the TV series. During that period, Hershel was unconscious, and Scott Wilson did an excellent job making it appear realistic. That’s because it was. In scenes where he had to portray unconsciousness, Wilson often fell asleep to render the scenes authentically. This demonstrates his dedication to the show and ensuring the scenes look realistic. It’s intriguing to consider how Scott Wilson managed to fall asleep while filming these scenes, but he achieved it.

8. Hines Ward appeared as a Walker in the “The Suicide King” episode

I love celebrity cameos, especially when athletes appear in movies and TV series. Aaron Rodgers, for instance, had a cameo in Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead has its own celebrity appearances too. In Season 3 of the show, former Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver and current San Antonio Brahma Head Coach Hines Ward made a cameo.

In the episode ‘The Suicide King’ (Season 3 Episode 9), during Merle and Daryl’s escape from the Woodbury Arena, Walkers attack, and Hines Ward is among them, playing a Walker in the scene. This cameo happened thanks to actor IronE Singleton. Ward and Singleton were connected through their time playing for the University of Georgia’s football team. When Singleton was working with AMC, he did arrange Ward to have the cameo role as a Walker in that episode, and the rest is history.

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7. Michael Rooker improvised the car scene

Merle Dixon is definitely one of my favorite characters in Season 3 of the show. His death was one of the most depressing and shocking moments of the season. In Season 3, Merle Dixon abandons Rick’s plan and attempts to kill The Governor by himself. The scene where he guides walkers in the car and then rolls out is quite impressive.

The most surprising aspect is that his rolling out of the car wasn’t in the original script. The show’s producers were very unhappy with this occurrence. However, they couldn’t change the situation since it was Michael Rooker’s last day of filming with AMC for the show in his contract. Perhaps AMC should not have been frugal and cheap with Rooker’s contract and should have extended it. Nevertheless, despite the unexpected turn, the entire scene was well-executed, and losing Merle Dixon was disappointing given the character’s potential. However, that is not the only thing that was improvised as…

6. Glenn’s Scream after killing a walker at Woodbury was improvised

“In Season 3, Merle kidnaps Glenn and Maggie. After tying Glenn to a chair in Woodbury, Merle tortures Glenn in an attempt to extract information about their group. During the interrogation, Merle releases a walker, forcing Glenn to fight for his life. He manages to escape and ultimately kills the walker, letting out a loud scream after the struggle, which is a powerful moment.

However, it’s interesting to note that Glenn’s scream after killing the walker in Season 3 was an unplanned reaction that AMC decided to keep in the final cut. Steven Yeun, the actor playing Glenn, confirmed this by saying, “It was the first time I was like, ‘Here’s a feeling I have in this moment, and I want to just do it.'” Thank goodness he did, as it added a realistic aspect to the scene and showcased character development. Well done, Steven.

5. It was the first season with the TV-MA rating

TV series or movie ratings are crucial, not only for marketing purposes but also for ensuring the audience is aware of the content’s level of violence, ensuring it’s suitable for all viewers. During the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, AMC rated the show as TV-14. However, due to considerable pressure from fans and the FCC regarding the show’s intense violence, AMC eventually changed the rating from TV-14 to TV-MA starting from Season 3. This shift was warranted given the controversial and mature scenes within the series, some of which should have carried an MA rating from the start.

4. Andrew Lincoln asked Sarah Wayne Callies not to be on set while shooting a scene

The Walking Dead can be an incredibly demanding show, and actors often go to great lengths to make their scenes compelling. In Season 3, a prime example was filming Lori Grimes’ death scene and especially Rick’s reaction. The intensity of Andrew Lincoln’s performance moved me, even though I didn’t particularly like the character of Lori Grimes. During the filming of the scene where Rick learns about Lori’s death, Lincoln aims for an extreme level of emotion. He personally requested Sarah Wayne Callies not to be on set during the shoot. Callies herself confirmed this, stating the following

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“Andy asked me not to be on set. But I couldn’t leave, so I was at base camp with the trailers. I could hear him screaming and crying. I was sitting there with IronE Singleton kind of going, “Oh my God. This is horrible.” And then one by one as the scene ended they came back to the trailers to change and go home, and I put my arms around Andy. When he goes down the rabbit hole he goes all the way down. I put my arms around him and I was like, “Look at me. I’m right here. I’m alive! Andy and Sarah are just fine. Rick and Lori are over, but Andy and Sarah are just fine.” 

That goes to show the tremendous dedication Andrew Lincoln has for his role and the immense respect he holds for his co-stars. Instances like this highlight the camaraderie among actors and their willingness to go to extremes to deliver a powerful scene.

3. Carol was almost killed in Season 3

That’s right, originally, Carol wasn’t going to be a long-term character in the show. The initial idea was to have her killed off in the “Killer Within” episode in Season 3. Melissa McBride, who played Carol, raised the point that there was more potential for the character to show, which she discussed with Glen Mazzara. This led to a meeting with the writers to explore ways to keep her character alive.

Interestingly, we can yet again thank IronE Singleton for this change of plans. Singleton portrayed Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas in the series, and initially, AMC had significant plans for his character’s development. However, Singleton faced issues with consistently being late for shoots, which became a problem for the production. Consequently, AMC decided to let him go. As a result, the writers made the decision to have T-Dog killed off in the episode instead of Carol. It turned out to be the right move, considering how popular Carol became as a character in the series.

2. Laurie Holden hated how AMC wrote her character.

Andrea deserved better in The Walking Dead

If there’s one character that AMC failed with in Season 3, it’s Andrea. They portrayed her as one of the most foolish and unlikable characters in The Walking Dead universe. The writers completely deviated from her comic book character, making her practically the public enemy No.1. They seemingly didn’t learn their lesson from the backlash she faced in Season 2 and worsened her portrayal by making her romantically involved with The Governor. It’s disheartening to witness Laurie Holden, a talented actress, given such poor material by the writers.

Laurie Holden herself wasn’t happy with Andrea’s portrayal in the show, stating,

“...the whole stuff that they wrote about Andrea and the Governor was complete and utter nonsense. I did the best that I could to tell that narrative and to justify it where Andrea kept her heart…. I love Scott Gimple for giving me a gorgeous death with redemption so that you understood, and she wasn’t a victim – she died on her own terms. But I think that there was so much beautiful narrative that was lost, and that she should have been there for a long time and been the leader that [Robert] Kirkman created in the comic book.”

Ironically, Glen Mazzara’s decision regarding Andrea’s character contributed to his job termination. But that wasn’t the worst idea he had, as…”

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1. Glen Mazarra wanted to kill Beth and Carl in the “Home” Episode in Season 3

Yep, this almost happened. It was originally going to occur in the Season 3, Episode 10 episode titled “Home” when The Governor was going to attack the prison. It even was confirmed by Glen Mazarra himself. He was quoted saying the following:

“Now the question is, whose death? To be very honest, I didn’t want to kill off any of the major characters. We obviously didn’t want to kill Rick. Carol was on the chopping block, but I didn’t want to kill Carol, because we have a story coming up with her. We looked at the possibility of killing Beth. I don’t think that actor knows that. You know, I love Emily Kinney.

But I felt that would have had too big an impact on the group. It would have just devastated poor Hershel. It would have taken him down a path I didn’t want for the rest of the season. And we were already dealing with Maggie’s feelings about her sexual assault by the Governor, so we didn’t want to complicate that with mourning for her sister. We talked about killing Carl in that episode! We really did… unfortunately, you know, by the process of elimination, we got to Axel.

A Bullet Dodged

Fortunately, the show decided not to pursue this moronic idea, as Carl had undergone significant development in the TV series. Beth also showed promise as a character. Could you imagine if that were the way Carl Grimes, the future of the show, would be killed off? It would have angered so many loyal fans who stuck by the show after many were dissatisfied with some moves in Season 2.

If there was one character they had to choose to kill off in the Governor’s attack, it had to be Axel. You could argue for Beth, considering she was an underwhelming character in Season 2, but she improved significantly in Season 4. AMC dodged a bullet with this one, and ideas like this didn’t help Glen Mazzara’s job security when he was let go at the end of the season.

What did you think of these 10 facts from season 3?

So, those are the 10 fascinating facts about the third season of The Walking Dead. Do you agree with this list? What other facts did you find fascinating that did not appear in this article? Let me know in the comment section, and don’t forget to give the article a like as well.

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