Hey gang! Robert took some time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to talk to us about Episode 410: Inmates! Check it out:

TheWalkingDead.com: Let’s start with Judith. LOTS of speculation, screen caps, gifs, etc about her fate after the mid-season finale. I think most fans, from what I saw on Twitter, assumed she was dead. Can you talk a bit about that decision to split from the comic and what it’s going to mean to this group to have a baby on the run?

Robert Kirkman: Basically, there’s more story to tell, and the thing that we’re always trying to do on The Walking Dead show is try to figure out what generate the most story, and I’ve already done the story where Judith dies. It went a certain way, and it was certainly very sad, and in a way, in the show, you get the best of both worlds with Rick and Carl thinking she’s dead and being affected by that, but also I think the story of Tyreese on his own with Lizzie and Mika is going to lead to some really interesting story. And to a certain extent, we glossed over that in the comics, how dangerous it would be to have an infant around.

TWD: Basically, living walker bait.

Kirkman: Exactly.

TWD: What was the thought process behind grouping certain characters together post-Prison exodus? I’d say it’s not really the pairings we would expect.

Kirkman: When you have a show that has a cast this large, you start to notice that certain characters gravitate toward other characters, and you end up with characters that know each other very well and are in a lot of scenes together, like Maggie and Glenn, for instance. So when it came time to split them up, we wanted to make sure that these characters are out of their comfort zone. They’re out of the prison, they’re away from people they’re more familiar with, and we wanted to find groups that hadn’t interacted very much because there’s a lot that can come from these new interactions. I think seeing both Bob and Sasha together is going to lead to some very cool stuff, and I think that the Daryl-Beth relationship is going to evolve in some very cool and interesting ways.

TWD: This week we saw a lot of Hershel’s philosophy alive and well in Glenn, Maggie, and Beth. It’s a nice ode to a well-loved character.

Kirkman: Hershel’s greatest contribution to this world has been his wisdom, and seeing that passed down and seeing it affect these characters is certainly a big deal. Despite the fact that he’s gone, his presence is very much going to be a part of this world for many episodes, and even years, to come.

TWD: Let’s talk about Abraham. Comic fans have been looking forward to this for a while. How did you find your man, Michael Cudlitz?

Kirkman: All of our casting is always a somewhat involved process because we have such a great ensemble, so we have to make we have someone that’s going to fit and acclimate to the group, but also bring what they need to bring for the character. With Cudlitz in particular, we spent a lot of time looking at a lot of different candidates for Abraham and it took us a while to find the right guy. I’ll admit we were somewhat worried! We were wondering, are we going to find the right Abraham? It even came down to the wire to a certain extent because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to find him, and then Cudlitz emerged. He has had this huge career in television, and to be honest, I was a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to get him, but luckily he signed on because I think Abraham is going to be another pillar of the show. To a certain extent, he’ll be filling that vacuum that the loss of the Governor has created. He’ll be that other character that’s driving a lot of the story and generating a lot of cool stuff. As comics fans know, Abraham’s character is so important to the overall life of the series, and I’m very excited to see all of that come to the tv show, and I think Cudlitz is going to do a great job of bringing that character to life. And I can say that with confidence, since I’ve seen the rest of all of the episodes in Season 4!

TWD: There you go bragging again! Cudlitz is definitely awesome casting.

Kirkman: He’s also a good dude, which helps. It’s always good to know your actors are good dudes, I like Cudlitz, he’s a good egg.

TWD: This goes back to our question about groupings, but how does the writers’ room decide that Glenn and Tara should be the first ones to find Abraham as opposed to Maggie’s group or Rick’s group?

Kirkman: Glenn was the most interesting guy to have surrounded by new people. Since he’s the character that’s very personable but has also grown comfortable within the prison group, we thought that would be an interesting new dynamic to have him with Abraham’s group. And also, a pretty big complication for his search for Maggie because he is very interested in finding Maggie, and now he’s surrounded by people who have never met Maggie and who don’t know what sort of relationship they have and how important she is to him and thus aren’t going to be as invested in find her. It really just leads to adding a lot more complications to Glenn’s story.

TWD: Absolutely. So, last question, is Josh McDermitt’s (Eugene) mullet real, or more Nicotero magic?

Kirkman: That’s all real, baby!

TWD: It looks perfect. Rosita, Eugene, and Abraham are really just perfect physically.

Kirkman: It’s another one of those things that happens on The Walking Dead. We always only ever look for the best actors available, but seeing Christian Serratos and Josh McDermitt and Michael Cudlitz embody these characters in a way that’s so visually accurate to the way they’re portrayed in the comic, it’s an amazing fluke that continues to happen. We cast Danai Gurira because she was the best actor for the role, and yet she is almost indistinguishable between her and her comic book counterpart. So I think that comic fans are going to be really excited about these three characters. They’re going to add quite a bit to the show moving forward.

Big thanks to the boss for the the chat! Come back next week to see what Robert has to say about Episode 411!