The Walking Dead returns with its mid-season premiere on Sunday night, promising to be darker and more dangerous than ever.
Showrunner, , revealed that the remainder of Season 4 is going to stick closely to the comic book narrative, while TWD creator, Robert Kirkman, has admitted that AMC is worried that Season 4 is "too dark." This is all very good news. So with that in mind, here are three storylines from the source material the show could draw from in the coming weeks.
Word of warning: this article is incredibly spoilery for those of you that haven't read the comics. Do not read on if you want your Walking Dead experience to remain pure.
You've been warned.
One particularly brutal storyline in the comic involves two twins, Ben and Billy. Having lost both their parents, the twins are taken in by Andrea and Dale, but Ben starts to exhibit psychotic tendencies in the form of violence towards other kids and his new hobby of killing and mutilating animals. It should have acted as a warning it but went unchecked. This was a big mistake, because on the road to Washington Ben brutally murders Billy, believing that everybody comes back from the dead.
While the adults debate on whether or not to kill Ben to protect themselves, Carl sneaks into the van where he is being locked up and executes him without mercy.
While Billy and Ben don't exist in the TV show, we do have Lizzie and Mika and the older sibling has certainly shown signs of being slightly unhinged. She probably killed and mutilated a rat and she had a strange relationship with a walker which she'd named and talked to. I still believe that she was responsible for killing Karen and she executed Alisha without hesitation. Could her sister be next?
TWD creator, Robert Kirkman, has admitted that AMC are "nervous" about how dark the remainder of Season 4 is going to be and I believe this is because we are going to get The Hunters storyline, which is one of the most iconic - and brutal - in Walking Dead lore.
The Hunters are a group of survivors hostile to Rick and his gang because... well because they are hungry and fresh meat tastes the best — even if that meat happens to be human. It's implied that The Hunters ate their own children in order to survive and they stalk Rick and his group as they make their way to Washington. Dale is captured and his leg eaten (yeah, they really went there) and Glenn is also wounded in an attack.
However, Rick's retribution is swift and brutal. With the aid of Michonne, Andrea and Abraham, they track down the group and brutally kill them all using their bladed weapons. It was a turning point for them all and something that they never really came from.
It's a question of "when" not "if" the group reaches the Alexandria Safe Zone and my guess is it will happen during the season finale. However, it's not the destination but the journey that matters, and the journey in question involves a trip to the nation's capital, Washington DC. Apart from a couple of scavenging hunts there's not a great deal of action that takes place in DC, but in terms of scale, scope and generally "holy shit, that's awesome and scary", it would be up there with the group's adventures in Atlanta back in Season 1. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to see Capitol Hill overrun by parasites and bottom feeders? It wouldn't be much different to how things are now (satire! boom!)
I want to hear from you now. Do you think we'll see any of these storylines in The Walking Dead Season 4? Is there anything that you want to see that I didn't mention? You know the drill by now: hit me up in the comments below or over on Twitter.