‘The Walking Dead’ Star Andrew Lincoln Talks Piglets, ‘Zombie Chumming’ [Spoilers]

This season of The Walking Dead has seen Rick (Andrew Lincoln) laying down his weapons in favor of farming tools. Instead of killing walkers with the rest of the group, Rick is focusing on spending more time with Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Judith (Adelaide and Eliza Cornwell), as well as the piglets that are part of the prison’s farm. Unfortunately, after a new threat enters the prison, Rick is forced into action despite his best efforts to be a better role model for his children.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SUNDAY’S EPISODE.

In Sunday’s episode, “Infected,” Patrick (Vincent Martella) — who died very suddenly in the premiere and turned into a walker almost instantly — made his way into D Block and attacks a sleeping survivor in his cell. That survivor reanimates just as quickly as Patrick did, which ultimately leads to a full-scale attack in the cell block.

Just outside of the prison, more walkers have gathered at the fence. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) sees rat carcasses on the ground and realizes that someone has been feeding them. In order to draw the walkers away from the fence, Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) hop in a truck with a box of piglets. Rick sacrifices the piglets and leaves them on the ground to distract the walkers, giving the rest of the group time to reinforce the fence.

Andrew Lincoln said he became attached to the piglets, and that they even had great names.

“There was Bandit. He had two little spots over his eyes. There was Chaps, and he had black legs like chaps, like one of the … ‘Young man, da da da da da da’ (singing “YMCA”) … he looked like the cowboy (from The Village People),” Lincoln told Yahoo TV. “Then there was the unfortunately named Pork and Chop. They were incredibly quiet. They were very, very quiet through most of the filming. My favorite was the runt of the litter, Truffle. I absolutely loved that piglet. It’s so sad about what happened to little Truffle.”

Although the piglets were not long for this world, they did serve a greater purpose.

“[They] just embodied all of our hope in the future,” Lincoln said.

But the piglets’ deaths also marked a turning point for Rick, who realized that he couldn’t live the farmer’s life forever. Perhaps it’s better that way, as Lincoln said he was covered in poop and blood most of the day (not very pleasant when you’re working out in the Georgia sun). Still, Lincoln did manage to have fun despite the grim task he and Reedus had undertaken.

“That day filming, you know what, we were laughing about it. We do all of the stunts. It’s such a wild show to be in,” Lincoln said.

“That was one of the great days. Norman was driving the truck … It’s zombie chumming is what we were doing. We’re chumming zombies,” he added. “We were doing it, and Caleb, who is one of the producers on the show, he’s a Georgia boy, and he looked at me and said, ‘You two boys are Georgia boys now.’ It’s like a Southern sport, a mean sport that you do, zombie chumming.”

Andrew Lincoln previously warned that “something terrible happens” this season that divides the group. With this new disease that turns people into walkers almost instantly, the group is literally divided to separate those who have been exposed from those who haven’t. And with the knowledge that someone within the prison is feeding the walkers outside the fence, there’s sure to be lots of finger pointing.