New characters have to mean something
At the end of season three, the group and the prison saw a huge influx of new blood. Their ranks continued to swell in the time that passed between the conclusion of that season and the beginning of the fourth. However, even with the increased numbers, none of them meant anything. Even in the rare event that they were given a name, they were nothing more than canon fodder, a plot device, or a lazy attempt to elicit emotion. Beth had boyfriend for an episode. He got eaten so the writers could show how detached she has become. Tyreese had a girlfriend. She got murdered so he could freak out and Rick could banish Carol (Melissa McBride). Many more, without names or lines, existed solely to die in flu outbreak or at the hands of the Governor (David Morrissey) and his cronies. None of them were real characters.
We know that there are a bunch of new faces scheduled to appear in the second half of season four, and they have to play a more important role. From what we know, they will. The biggest additions are a trio of characters from the source material. Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita (Christian Serratos), and Eugene (Josh McDermit) are all key players from Robert Kirkman’s comic books. They are a huge part of the continuing adventures of the survivors, up to and including the most recent issues. More mysterious are the addition of Gareth (Andre J. West), a so-called mash- up of characters from the comics, and the casting of Anissa Matlock, who many suspect could be one of the Hunters. It appears that these new faces will play a more vital role, and we hope so. It got old seeing a bunch of new faces only to watch them die. With no emotional investment, there is no reason to care whether these people live or die.