[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from The Walking Dead comic series (and possibly the TV show it inspired). Read at your own risk.]
While the writers of AMC's The Walking Dead have only just begun to discuss what will happen in Season 2, speculation about how close the series will stay to the comic book series that inspired it runs rampant — even among the actors.
Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies and the rest of the cast shared their thoughts on which comic book story lines they feel would be great to bring to the screen during Friday's PaleyFest2011 panel, moderated by TV Guide Magazine's Michael Schneider.
10. Shane Lives: Jon Bernthal, who plays Rick's partner, Shane, has already outlived his comic book counterpart, who was killed off in Issue 6. "I was really surprised how quickly Shane bought it," executive producer Frank Darabont said. "Once you start fleshing these characters out ... you really are loath to get rid of them too quickly." This is great news for Bernthal, who can't wait to see what comes next. "There's a lot more that they can squeeze of this character," he said. "I'm relieved. I'm glad I still have a job."
9. Lori's Love Triangle: In Season 1, Lori (Callies) had an affair with Shane because she thought her husband, Rick (Lincoln), was dead. In Season 2, Callies hopes to dissect the "consequences of telling Rick or not telling Rick," Callies said. "It's no longer just a martial issue of whether her husband will be mad at her. This is also an issue of sharing something with Rick that may drive a permanent wedge between Rick and Shane, which could put everyone at risk because these two men are our best protectors." And for the comic enthusiasts who worry this will turn into a soap opera love triangle, Bernthal said it will be "a triangle like you've never seen before."
8. Glenn's Lover: In the comic series, the group's next stop is Hershel's farm, where Glenn (Steven Yeun) meets and falls in love with Hershel's daughter, Maggie. "Glenn doesn't have a reason to live, which is why he's so reckless," Yeun said. "Once he finds something and someone to live for, that's really going to change his character and I'm really excited to play that." His dream casting for his potential love interest? Natalie Portman.
The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman on Season 1's explosive finale and what's next
7. Rick's Many Missteps: With Rick's police background, he's become the de facto leader of the group, but that doesn't mean he's perfect. The comics read like a handbook on what not to do during a zombie apocalypse, and that's due, in large part, to Rick. "And yet, people still listen to him," Lincoln said cheekily. "What I'm most excited about is to see the deterioration — to see the guy be poisoned and to start not being able to be the leader anymore and maybe make some calls that are a terrible decision."
6. Andrea Becomes a Warrior: Over the span of the comics, Andrea becomes quite handy with a gun. Unfortunately, the one thing Laurie Holden is looking forward to — hint, hint — is the one thing she can't share. "I know it's going to shake some fans up a bit," Holden said. "Andrea is going to do some stuff that's very unexpected that you will never see in the comic book. You're going to go, 'Oh my god!'"
5. Lori's Pregnancy: Even after Shane dies in the comic book, Lori deals with an impending baby that may not be Rick's. "I'm really interested to see the way Lori navigates this pregnancy knowing that this is a renaissance pregnancy," Callies said. "There's no pain medication, there's no doctor, there's no prenatal vitamins." Fortunately for Callies, the slow pacing of Season 1 may mean she won't have to sport a fake baby bump for a while. "It certainly would not make Atlanta cooler unless I can fill the baby bump with ice cubes," she said. "At this pace, I would be pregnant for the next 13 seasons."
4. The Governor: Several actors expressed their excitement for The Governor, the one-armed lawless leader of a town that feeds strangers to the zombies they use for gladiator-like games. While many have speculated that Merle (Michael Rooker) could become The Governor, since he too is missing a limb, Darabont was quick to shoot down that idea. "Merle will not be The Governor because what a lame and obvious course that would be," he said. "[But] I could change my mind because I'm willing to be lame and obvious just like everybody." Added comic creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman: "It doesn't make Merle any less important a character to have him not be The Governor."
Check out photos of The Walking Dead cast
3. Rick's Lost Hand: Speaking of the armless, The Governor eventually cuts off Rick's right hand, disabling the leader greatly. Fans "loved it because it means no one is safe," Lincoln said. "It was great to show the extremity of the situation, but I think we've shown that already. I'm not sure that it's an essential part yet."
2. Andrea and Dale: The Season 1 finale, which saw Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) convince Andrea to exit the Centers for Disease Control before its destruction, may have foreshadowed what's ahead for the couple. Yes, the couple. "It was totally unexpected," Holden said of Andrea's hook-up with Dale in the comics. "I wasn't warned about it. I literally turned a page and saw my naked comic book character with Dale. They couldn't have hired somebody better to play this, and we're going to really honor the relationship well."
1. Lori's Death: Callie said she stopped reading before the death of her character. "I know how badly it ends," she said. "I've seen that frame, and I think it's emblematic of our show. You can't pull any punches."
What are you looking forward to seeing the most?