We're still a good four months before the premiere of 'The Walking Dead' season 3, but it doesn't matter how many looks we get at upcoming villains, new heroes, or preview events you throw at us.  Like the hordes of the undead plaguing Atlanta, we'll always be hungry for more.  Still, there is at least one unspoken aspect of 'The Walking Dead's new season revealed on set this weekend that we'd like to give a hand to...

It's Merle Dixon!  Though we saw the character briefly in a hallucination of Daryl's last season, the character is indeed alive and well, surfacing on the Georgia set this weekend.  Actor Michael Rooker had previously been heard to say that he'd be back for season 3, but this is our first insight into what the real Merle has been up to since last we saw him.

Michael Rooker first appeared as Merle Dixon (brother to Daryl) in the series' second episode "Guts," before Rick and the others decisively left him atop an Atlanta roof to flee the walkers chasing after them.  Rick and the others would shortly thereafter return at Daryl's behest, only to find that in the time since the character had severed his own hand, and made an unseen getaway to parts unknown.

Now, the new photo reveals that Merle seems to have been taken in by The Governor's camp (sitting in the same truck we earlier saw The Governor outside of), and utilizing some kind of menacing looking hook to replace his lost appendage.  Rest assured that there was definitely a bit of subtext to the hallucinogenic Merle's last words to Daryl, "Grab your friend Rick's hand for me."

It remains to be seen how large Merle's role in the new season will be, but in the meantime check out the photo below, and give us your theories on 'The Walking Dead' season 3 in the comments beneath!