'The Walking Dead' Season 4 answers: Carol's return, Judith's death and Abraham's arrival

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There are a lot of questions left to be answered when "The Walking Dead" resumes Season 4  on Sunday (Feb. 9). Zap2it chatted with executive producer Gale Anne Hurd about the upcoming season to shed some light on what viewers can expect.

While Hurd was light on spoilers, she did offer up some teases that should whet fans' appetites for the final eight episodes of Season 4 and beyond. Enjoy:

Is Judith really dead?

"That seems to be the question," Hurd hedges. Of her previous assertion that fans won't see a dead Judith on the show, Hurd says, "I may prove myself wrong. I don't know that I'd want to see that anyway." So will viewers definitely find out one way or another? Still not a firm answer. "Sometimes we keep those runners going without resolution, and other times we wrap things up. It's kind of 50/50," she says.

How did 'The Walking Dead' team approach Carol's return?

Hurd doesn't address the issue head-on, but she does make some interesting points about why they took Carol away. "The important thing was the dynamic that had to be developed between Rick and Carol," Hurd explains. "Would he violate his ethical standing to make an exception for her? Would there be frontier justice? Or would he allow them to vote democratically? And ultimately Rick resumed the mantle of leadership and made the decision on his own."

She continues, "He did it I think in part because he knew the rage that Tyreese felt and he was afraid at the time of what might happen if she were to come back. But at the same time, it was an opportunity to really see Carol develop as a character. We saw the fruits of that, even though she might have done something morally questionable, Tyreese would not have survived if she hadn't trained the girls to be comfortable with weapons."

Will people be able to figure out what 'A' means before the finale airs?

Hurd has faith in the fans. "I think people might develop theories. We won't be able to say if they've got it dead on, but we've got an incredibly smart, rabid fanbase. Someone out there's bound to figure it out," she teases.

Will viewers see much of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene in these next eight episodes?

One theory behind "A" could be that's the episode where Abraham is introduced. Hurd seems to imply people will see a decent amount of those new characters in the back half of Season 4, though. 

"They're certainly going to appear. They're great actors," Hurd says. "But at the same time, we've introduced fantastic actors before and not had a great deal of time to explore their stories, like when we introduced Chad Coleman as Tyreese. We're down a few characters sadly from last season."

Will the Saviors or the Alexandria Safe-Zone be introduced?

"We haven't really broken the upcoming season yet, so I'm not quite sure where we're going in this fifth season," she says. "As you can rely upon, if there's something in the comics, we may introduce it in the show, but we're going to give it our own unique twist. So there's that element that comic book fans are familiar with, but they can't always predict how it's going to play out." Sounds like those might be Season 5 storylines, then.

What is there to know about 'The Walking Dead' spinoff?

"The thing is, we have done nothing. We just finished the mix for [episode 16] on Friday, so that's really been our focus -- to complete the post-production. Now I think we'll have a little more time to focus on it," Hurd explains. Still, there's one thing their team knows for certain: "It's not a spinoff from any of our characters or any of our situations."

So will that mean that this new show will be set in the same time frame as "The Walking Dead," or some other one? "I can't talk about that," Hurd says. "We haven't broken it yet; we just know that we are not going to pillage anything from the current series."

"The Walking Dead" Season 4b premiere, "After," airs Sunday, Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. What questions are you dying to have answered?

Photo/Video credit: AMC