With the premiere of its third season, AMC’s The Walking Dead graduated to the head of the Comic-Con class. Previously relegated to the second largest room on the site, this year marked the zombie show’s triumphant debut in the 6,500 seat Hall H and the show’s producers and cast obliged with a panel filled with interesting, info, great clips and awkward moments.

After the jump, read the twelve things we learned about the third season of The Walking Dead.

1. International Zombie Infestation

No, not on the actual show. The third season of The Walking Dead will premiere at 9 p.m. October 14 in the U.S. However, the show has become such a worldwide phenomon it’ll then begin its international roll out on October 15, so the world won’t have to wait.

2. The zombies will continue to decompose

Effects guru and executive producer Greg Nicotero said because The Walking Dead will continue to unfold in linear fashion, the zombies start to look different this season.They’re beginning to decompose. “They’re hungry and there’s a lot of them,” he said. For the first tme they’ll also use animatronic puppets and Nicotero will direct an episode this year.

3. You can decapate three zombies at once

In the new trailer, you’ll meet Michonne (Danai Gurira), the masked character who saved Andrea (Laurie Holden) in the second season finale, and you’ll watch her decapitate three zombies at once with her katana sword.

4. There are many more survivors

Besides the prison, another new area we’ll explore is Woodbury, a seemingly utopian town, unaffected by zombies thanks to the rule of The Governor (David Morrissey). It looks like Norman Rockwell small town America but not all is as it seems.

5. The Ricktatorship will continue

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) seemed to flip a switch at the end of last season into a bit of a tyrannical leader and that’ll continue this year.The trailer shows him leading our heroes in a hostile takeover of a prison as their new home. And Lincoln read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to prepare. Eventually, the Governor will eventually find out and try to push Rick and his friend outs.

6. Merle Dixon is Back

Previously revealed in online photos, Michael Rooker will return in the third season after being left for dead in season one. He’s sawed his own arm off and rocks a sword attached instead.

7. The action looks much more epic.

In the trailer, almost everyone has guns or knives and the fighting isn’t only limited to humans versue zombies. Humans will fight humans as well with guns, bows and arrows, paintball guns (or at least something that looks like it) and basically, it’s mass carnage.

8. Things will get much darker

Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman said, of the difference between second and third season that “The farm was a walk in the park compared to where we are now.”

9. Everyone is cold

Shooting in Atlanta over the summer, heat used to be the problem for the cast and crew. However, now that much of the season takes places inside a prison, they actually find the air conditioning to be too cold.

10. Church over Skype

Many of the foreign actors, such as Lincoln, Morissey, and Lauren Cohan do weekly Sunday Skype Sessions to practice their southern American accents.

11. Daryl and Merle fans will get backstory

Just not on the show. Kirkman said a new Walking Dead video game follows the two brothers through their early trials in the zombie apocalypse.

12. Prepubescent girls love Glenn

Several times during the panel, young (very young) girls would ask questions of actor Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn. It was awkward, funny, and curious that they’d be allowed to watch this gory show.

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