How Walking Dead's shocking death changes Andrea forever

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 3:16 PM EST

After growing harder and harder the past two seasons, Laurie Holden says her Walking Dead character Andrea is about to have a change of heart. Spoilers ahead!

Holden told TV Guide that the unexpected death of Dale—arguably the group's moral center—will have a deep and immediate effect on Andrea.

"There's a lot of guilt and a lot of regret. She wasn't particularly easy on him for quite some time, and Andrea wasn't in a very good head space," she said. "When Dale passes, every move that Andrea makes from that point forward is about honoring Dale, and that means being a leader, having a stronger moral compass, being compassionate and really lending her hand more so than she would have before. I remember distinctly for the rest of the season, every single thing that I did before every scene, I thought, 'Andrea, you must honor Dale.' And if there was ever a caption to describe Andrea's head space, that's it."

Dale's death came as a shock to fans, as it was yet another change-up from The Walking Dead comic canon. It was an even bigger surprise to Holden, who originally thought her character would develop a relationship with Dale—echoing a storyline from the comics.

"[The relationship] was always the plan, but it's no secret that the television show does veer off from the graphic novel, and it was a creative decision that [executive producers] Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman came up with and stood behind. It made sense in terms of story and how we're moving forward," she said. "... This tough thing about our show is that we have to remind ourselves it is a zombie apocalypse, that the rules change, that any character can go at any time and sometimes there are going to be deviations from the source material. This just happened to be the one character I never expected it to happen to."

Sound off: Are you a fan of the tweaks to the original story, or do you wish the creators would stick closer to the comics?

(via TV Guide)