Thus far, season three of AMC’s The Walking Dead hasn’t shied away from killing off important characters. A number of folks have already met their untimely ends, and with an encounter with the Governor (David Morrissey) looming on the horizon, you can bet there are more to come. One fallen character, however, may not be entirely gone from the hit zombie drama.
Potential spoilers follow. Proceed with caution.
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) is the most polarizing figure on The Walking Dead. Love her or hate her (lots of people love to hate her), she has been a pivotal character since the word go, and her death during an emergency cesarean section (and subsequent shooting in the head by her son Carl, played by Chandler Riggs, to ensure that she doesn’t return as a walker) is going to wreak havoc on her husband Rick (Andrew Lincoln).
Fans familiar with Robert Kirkman’s comics know that Lori returns in the form of a disembodied voice on the other end of a disconnected phone. In the wake of the tragedy, and everything he goes through at the hands of the Governor, Rick comes unhinged and turns to his dead wife.
Season three has already made some vast departures from the source material. The timing and manner of Lori’s death is a prime example. When asked in a recent interview if she would return, Wayne Callies had this to say:
I think that question has to do with, ‘Does it serve the story?’ I’ve always felt that Lori’s death was something very important to Rick, which drives him crazy. In the comics, part of his madness is not quite being able to shake her. If that serves the story that they’re going to tell going forward, then absolutely. I can’t really envision a time where somebody calls me up and goes…[W]e’ve taken so many departures that, if they feel it would be foolish for Rick to be seeing ghosts, I’m okay with that, too.
That doesn’t really answer the question, but it does leave the door open for Lori to return in the future. As much as I’m not a Lori fan, I’d hate to see this cut. Rick is always so intent on keeping up his tough façade, of showing a strong face to the world, but these moments with Lori’s ghost demonstrate just how fragile he really is. No matter how hard he tries, how much everyone believes that he is okay, this illustrates how close he is to losing it at any given moment.