Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has dropped hints about cast departures.
The writer toldIGN that the death of Shane (Jon Bernthal) is "a key moment in the life of the series".
"This is going to be a cataclysmic event that informs things that happen in season three, season four, and beyond," he suggested.
"The outcome of this episode is going to affect Rick (Andrew Lincoln)'s role as a leader, Rick's personality, Rick's actions, everything involving Rick and the whole group for seasons after this."
Kirkman also implied that more characters will depart the series in the forthcoming second season finale.
"We start the last episode with a certain cast that we do not end the episode with," he said. "I think that we're definitely going to lose the characters along the way and things are going to change quite drastically by the end of the episode."
Kirkman previously defended the decision to write out Shane, insisting that Bernthal's departure was planned "from day one".
The Walking Dead's second season concludes next Sunday (March 18) at 9/8c on AMC. In the UK, the show airs on Fridays at 10pm on FX.