07/14/2013 11:35 am ET

'The Walking Dead': Michonne's Mission, Season 4's Character Focus


When "The Walking Dead" returns, Michonne will be on a mission.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, comic co-creator and series executive producer Robert Kirkman said Andrea's (Laurie Holden) death will still be felt by the characters in Season 4, Michonne (Danai Gurira) in particular.

"As we meet Michonne coming back this season, she's on a mission to hunt down the Governor. It's something she's very obsessed with. It's big part of her character this season," Kirkman said. "She did lose Andrea and she lost her because of the Governor. She's not willing to let that guy go or be out there. It's something that may possibly be to her detriment, the fact that she's so dedicated to finding this person. That's something that very much informs her character this season."

Season 3 of "The Walking Dead" ended with Andrea's death, the Governor (David Morrissey) attacking the prison and escaping from Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and co. After the attack, Rick took in the residents of Woodbury. Kirkman said Season 4 will pick up a few months after the events of the Season 3 finale. "The prison that we see is a very different prison and the characters that we see are very different from the last time we saw them," Kirkman said. "We go into season four with characters you've known for four years and still find new things to explore with them and new aspects of their character and see that they are growing and changing in extremely dramatic ways due to the strains that this world has put upon them."

Scott Gimple will serve as showrunner of "The Walking Dead" Season 4. He's the third showrunner the series has had over four seasons. Gimple replaces Glen Mazzara, who replaced Frank Darabont. Gimple told THR he was going to do his best to combine the best of Mazzara's and Darabont's runs.

"I'm trying to take a greatest-hits approach and take the best of both those runs and run with it," he said. "As far as my own personal stamp, it's more of what we do here already with character-driven stories and really delving into these characters while having some amazing, horrible scares and exciting sequences but all in service to a greater story that builds."

Kirkman said Season 4 will be more character focused than last season. "It's a much more character-based story. It's going to be more focused on who these characters are and what they're going through. To a certain extent, we got away from that a little bit in season three. Coming into season four, we're definitely going to know a lot more about these people so it will be that much more gut-wrenching and worse when we lose these characters," Kirkman said.

With the Governor in Season 3, "The Walking Dead" explore the threat of other human survivors. However, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said the show will bring back the threat of the zombies. We are going to amp up the threat of the walkers, because they've started to seem like a manageable threat. They are not a manageable threat," she said during a "Walking Dead" PaleyFest event. "But, it is the people who you think you can trust who betray you, that you have to fear. It is the monster inside you. We all have them. How do we keep them in check?"

"The Walking Dead" returns to AMC in October.

The Walking Dead