(Spoiler alert: The following discusses things that have already happened in "Walking Dead" comics and on the show, including Sunday's second-season finale.)
Zombies munching on members of Hershel's family, survivors feuding, and Rick losing his mind or just becoming a Ricktator: These were just a few of the happenings on Sunday's "Walking Dead" season two finale, and much of the action heralded things to come in season three.
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How do we know? Because executive prodicers Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara promised as much on "Talking Dead," the wrap-up that followed the finale. But Kirkman's comics provide clues as well.
Fans of the comics know that the show makes no effort to precisely follow the action on the page. (For example: Many characters who died early in the comics, including Shane, have had longer lives on the show.) But there is plenty of overlap with the comics in terms of characters and settings.
Season three will air in the fall, but here are five things we already know about it:
1. Michonne: Fans of the comics know that the hooded woman, sword-wielding woman who showed up to save Andrea (Laurie Holden) is Michonne, who will be played next season by "Treme" actress Danai Gurira. In the comics, the detoothed, armless zombies she drags along behind her are her former boyfriend and his best friend. She keeps them around to repel other zombies, now that they're in no position to harm her.
"Her appearance is a really important moment, because up until this point in the show, everyone has been focusing on how to survive and what do we do and how strange this world is," Kirkman said on "Talking Dead."
"And this is really the first character that has figured it out and knows exactly what to do and knows how to survive, and it's a really good indication of the kinds of stories we're gonna be telling in season three."
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2. The Prison: That dark final shot in the season two finale was of a prison near the survivors' makeshift camp. In the comics, it becomes a fortress that protects the survivors from the outside world — even as it traps them in another one.
3. The Governor: AMC has already announced British actor David Morrissey will play The Governor, the villain whose arrival "Dead" fans have long anticipated. And since The Governor, in the comics, plays a major role in events at the prison, expect his arrival to be imminent.
4. The return of Merle: Kirkman confirmed to TheWrap earlier this year that we'll see Merle, played by actor Michael Rooker, again. And Rooker himself confirmed his season three return during the WonderCon panel in Anaheim over the weekend.