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Audiences weren’t the only ones shocked by Fear the Walking Dead‘s deadly midseason finale.
The cast of the AMC zombie series stopped by EW’s Comic-Con studio in San Diego on Thursday, where they looked forward and back, specifically to the death of Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), one of the few remaining characters from the start of the series.
“It was a shock,” Alycia Debnam-Carey, who stars as Madison’s daughter Alicia, told EW’s Gerrad Hall. “I mean, it’s something that we have to expect and come to terms with when you’re working on a show like this, because that’s just the nature of it. But it’s always hard losing someone, especially someone who is so extraordinary like Kim Dickens. She has been such a fearless leader…. The mourning process in the show is just reflecting your own mourning process.”
And while Madison may be gone, her presence will remain a crucial part of the show and the characters, according to executive producer Gale Ann Hurd. “Great drama requires conflict. Great zombie drama requires some people to not make it through to the other side of the season or to the next year,” shared Hurd. “Obviously, Kim is incredibly special and we will never forget her in a lot of things that people will be doing for seasons to come will be in memory of what she stood for.”
The loss of Dickens came as Fear added a slew of new actors, including Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, and The Walking Dead alum Lennie James. “That’s how big her shoes are to fill — it takes four people,” declared Grace. “Those are big shoes!
Fear the Walking Dead returns Aug. 12 on AMC. Watch the full video above.