It's no surprise that fans of The Walking Dead can't wait to find out what season three — a sixteen-episode season that will air in two equal parts of eight episodes premiering in October and Februrary — has in store for them, especially in the characters of Michonne (Danai Gurira), who was already briefly teased on the season two finale, and the sadistic "Governor" (David Morrissey) one of the foremost villains in the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, who will inevitably find himself squaring off against hero Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

Gurira (Lie to Me, Treme), who had not yet been hired when the hooded figure who rescues Andrea (Laurie Holden) was seen in the last few seconds of season two, opened up about entering into the zombie-infested world of The Walking Dead. "It can get very, very real," Gurira told USA Today, specifically of the "zombies" who act alongside her. "They are so beautifully grotesque, and you tend to forget what you're dealing with. You can step out of make-believe very easily."

Michonne also forges a deep relationship with Andrea. "Michonne admires and appreciates her strength, especially in a world where you're looking for people who bring assets to the table and not liabilities," Gurira explains.

But if Michonne, wielding a samurai sword known as a Katana, is an ally, the Governor, played by Morrissey, becomes anything but. The picturesque town of Woodbury he runs might first seem to be ideal for Grimes and his diminishing crew of survivors, but a locked-up Georgia Correctional Facility the group stumbles upon appears to be the nicer option, based on the threat the Governor poses, which will presumably intensify over the course of the season.

"They are two groups led by two strong-willed people," said Morrissey, hinting at how things might play out between the Governor and Rick. "Will these people be able to negotiate and be able to have goodwill towards each other or see each other as threatening? That's a very interesting debate to have," he said.

Speaking of people with strong wills, Daryl Dixon's (Norman Reedus) big brother, the dangerous and hotheaded Merle (Michael Rooker), will also return, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd reveals. "Obviously, he's got a grudge match," she said of Merle, who had to cut off his own hand in season one to save himself from a zombie mob. "He blames Rick and the rest of the survivors for the loss of his hand, even though he cut it off, and he's itching for two things. The first is revenge, and the second is to be reunited with his baby brother Daryl."

To find out how all these storylines play out and how the new and returning characters react to one another, tune in to the season three premiere of The Walking Dead Sunday, October 14 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.

Check out the season three trailer for The Walking Dead here:

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