Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t watched Sunday’s Walking Dead finale, you might want to stop reading now.
Last month, I was fortunate enough to attend the Walking Dead panel at Paleyfest, where Laurie Holden was present and was brought to tears as she spoke about Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and his influence on Andrea’s life. At the time, I didn’t realize Dale’s major impact on Andrea. It wasn’t until Sunday’s season finale, that I understood why Holden had gotten so choked up when explaining her character’s journey.
The end of Season 3, also marked the end of Andrea’s three-season arc after she ended her own life – the Governor killed Milton who then turned into a zombie and took a chunk out of Andrea’s neck. While, not vastly popular with viewers, Holden always stood by her character and defended her actions. If there’s one thing that’s certain is that no one was as protective of Andrea as she was. In a recent interview with THR, Holden spoke about her character’s shocking death, what could have happened if she hadn’t died, and what her death means for Rick and Michonne.
Although Holden knew that her character’s journey would come to a conclusion before they even began filming Season 3, she says it wasn’t the way things were supposed to go. “It was a shock to everyone. It was never part of the original story document for season three and was rather unexpected,” Holden explained. Nonetheless, she was aware of what being part of a zombie drama would entail and was prepared for whatever the showrunners had in store for her character.
So what would have happened with Andrea if her character hadn’t suffered such an untimely demise? Would Andrea have gone on to follow in the footsteps of her comics counterpart and perhaps even become Rick’s love interest? Holden keeps mum about her character’s original storyline, reminding us that Andrea’s main objective was always to save the people of Woodbury from the evil clutches of the Governor. “Her death does propel the story forward because when you think of it, in spite of her incredibly tumultuous journey she had, the people of Woodbury did escape and reach their sanctuary and none of the people of the prison were killed,” she says, reassuring us that her death wasn’t in vain. As for the relationship that could have developed between Andrea and Rick, Holden believes that “it would have been electric” due to the chemistry between her and Andrew Lincoln. However, she’s content with the way their last interaction was handled, “They may not have had the affair they have in comics, but Andrea was instrumental in helping to heal his heart and at the end of the day, that’s pretty awesome.”
Holden believes that Andrea’s death will be a catalyst for the resurfacing of the old Rick Grimes, “In those final moments, he gets what she’s all about and what she’s been fighting for. It’s an enormous wakeup call for him and allows him to snap out of his state of insanity.” Rick had slowly been descending into madness for a few episodes leading up to the finale but at the end of this episode we saw him doing something he had been opposed to up to that point – allowing new people (the Woodbury survivors) to join the group. As for Andrea’s BFF, Michonne, Holden thinks she will be out for blood, warning the Governor to watch his back. “I don’t think Michonne is going to sleep until justice has been served after he took her best friend,” she concluded.
It was surprising to see another major character go this season, especially after Andrea had been so close to reuniting with the group at the prison. Hate her or love her, we can’t deny that her death was full of meaning. It reminded not only Rick and the group, but also the viewers how much of the survivors’ humanity has been lost throughout their journey. At the end, Andrea cared more about the innocent lives she was saving than her own, and that’s always worthy of admiration and respect.