'Walking Dead' Season 4 Poster: Farewell to the Prison? (Photo)

The Walking Dead S4 Key Art CROP - H 2013

The Walking Dead S4 Key Art CROP - H 2013

On AMC's The Walking Dead, happiness will always seem to be short-lived.

In the official season-four key art, a surly Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) stands armed amid the prison's tattered barbed-wire fences.

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Season four will see the group having created a new community with the transplants from Woodbury, but in typical Walking Dead fashion, it will won't last long, as the temporarily secure band of travelers will face more-evolved walkers and a mysterious new outside threat as well as danger from inside the fences. The group's home and new way of life will be thoroughly tested, and their struggle to survive has never been so perilous.

"Anyone who has read the comics knows they don't stay in prison forever. The circumstances that could occur that would lead them from prison remain a mystery, but they could be in the prison for the next two or three seasons or leave the prison in the very first episode of this season. It's all up in the air, and that's the way we prefer it," executive producer Robert Kirkman recently told The Hollywood Reporter.

Check out the poster above (see the full-size version below) and hit the comments with your thoughts. How long do you think the group will remain at the prison?

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The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m., followed by the season premiere of The Talking Dead. The second half of the season is slated to resume in February. Hit the comments below with what you're looking forward to seeing.

Meanwhile, AMC is teaming with Instructure and U.C. Irvine to offer a cross-disciplinary massive open online course exploring a broad range of topics through the lens of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. The free eight-week course, titled "Society, Science, Survivial: Lessons From AMC's The Walking Dead," will be offered via www.canvas.net/TWD. The class starts Monday, Oct. 14, and runs for eight consecutive Mondays through Dec. 2.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit