Original 'Walking Dead' Finale Had a Totally Different Ending

Walking Dead finaleIf you're the sort of person who enjoys behind-the-scenes information about your favorite shows, I've got some interesting scoop on last Sunday's Walking Dead season finale. Apparently there was an entire sequence -- a rather important sequence, assuming you've seen the episode -- that was shot twice, after the showrunners scrapped the first ending and called the cast for reshoots two months later.

Walking Dead cast members are mostly kept in the dark about what's going to happen to their characters, so imagine the shock of being brought back in for entirely new scenes. According to Dallas Roberts, better known as Milton, two actors had to go through their onscreen deaths twice when the show revamped the original season 3 ending.

(Spoiler alert: stop reading RIGHT NOW if you haven't watched the finale!)


Basically, what we saw happen in the finale between Milton, the Governor, and Andrea is pretty different from how they first shot the scenes. As Roberts explains, the original ending featured him being shot by the Governor rather than stabbed … among other things:

Originally, the beating scene that started the episode wasn’t there. Originally, I showed up and was led into the room where Andrea was and I took the tools out – the instruments of torture that were laid on the table — and then he shot me in the stomach, completely unexpectedly. And then I was left to bleed out in the same idea basically — you’re going to kill her now. There was a lot more of Milton trying to open the door and him trying to free her from the chains. And then there was a section where he was going to wrap the chain around the neck and try to choke her to death before he turned so she wouldn’t have to deal with Walker Milton, or Biter Milton, as it were.

They both desperately wanted for (the strangling) to work but at that point he had bled out so much. So he pulls and pulls and pulls but he doesn’t get it done and he falls against the wall and is passed out. And he never comes back from that until he turns into a walker.

And then at the end of that, it was just Tyreese and someone else who found her. Rick and Daryl and Michonne weren’t there. So it was essentially the same idea, except you saw me taking chunks out of Laurie Holden in that version. And then they called us back a few months later to reshoot it and made all those changes.

Fascinating! It sounds like they changed the scene primarily to allow for that moment of mystery before Rick, Daryl and Michonne open the door -- in the aired finale, we're not sure what's happened until we see Milton dead on the floor and Laurie, alive but bitten.

As it turns out, you can actually spot the differences between the two endings, because a few images were released prior to the reshoots. Here's Zombified Milton:

Notice anything amiss? Yep, in the aired episode, his glasses were knocked off before the interrogation scene -- he never has them on during the finale.

And get this, when the cast got the call that there would be a new version, they weren't entirely sure if the deaths had been changed. Roberts implies Laurie Holden initially thought she maybe hadn't been killed off after all:

Imagine her heart leaping in her chest. (…) And then they go, 'No, it's exactly the same, it's just a little different.'

Well, not EXACTLY the same. But same overall outcome, yes. Except less chunky.

Do you think you would have preferred the original scenes between Milton and Andrea?

Images via AMC

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