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Published October 5, 2013

3 Things You Didn’t Know About The Walking Dead

With the upcoming debut of its 4th season, The Walking Dead is proving to be one of the most popular dramas on television today.

We’re all learning more about the world of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors with each new season, so here’s a few things you may not know yet.

Caution: I’ll be talking about some very mild spoilers here- but you probably clicked on this link because you’ve been watching the show, so we’re cool, right?

 

Zombies Don’t Exist

What? No way. The Walking Dead is all about Zombies. It’s a show set in a Zombie Apocalypse! The show’s creators even refer to the Walkers as Zombies numerous times in interviews and talk shows. Surely a character in the show must have muttered the word “Zombie” once or twice?

Robert Kirkman with Zombies and/or Walkers.
Robert Kirkman with Zombies and/or Walkers.

Actually, you won’t find a reference to the word “Zombie” anywhere in any episode of The Walking Dead. This is a deliberate omission. The modern concept of the Zombie stems largely from George Romero’s works, including the highly regarded movies Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. The word is a popular alteration of the Haitian word “Zonbi,” used to describe a man drugged to a near-dead state for use as free labor.

Romero combined the Haitian term with the more European tales of the dead rising from their graves and fears of being buried alive, and the modern concept of the Zombie emerged as a mobile corpse desiring nothing but to feast on the living.

RELATED: The Best And Worst Places In Raleigh To Go During a Zombie Apocalypse

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has gone on record saying that the works of Romero do not exist in his world, and the characters have no concept of what we think of as a Zombie. So throughout the series we hear the hungry undead referred to as Walkers, Lame-Brains, and Biters, but never actually “Zombies.”

 

The Infection Doesn’t Make You a Walker

In the first season, Jim gets bitten in the stomach by a Walker. He becomes infected, and soon develops a high fever, nausea, pale skin, and vomits blood. It’s a telltale sign that he’ll soon join the ranks of the undead, and throughout the early seasons the symptoms were used to recognize who had the walker pathogen and who didn’t.

Jim is probably wishing for morphine right at this moment.
Jim is probably wishing for morphine right at this moment.

The problem is, as we now understand from the end of season 2 and beginning of season 3, anyone is at risk of becoming a Walker. So what is the relationship between the infection from the bite and rising again in un-death? Absolutely nothing. According to Kirkman, the resulting infection from getting bit by a Walker would operate on the same principles as getting bit by a wild animal; you can die from it if left untreated. What makes the characters of The Walking Dead different is that whether they die by a bite, a bullet, or a heart attack, they can still return as a Walker. What makes this possible is still unknown. In Jim’s case, he tragically might not have been a lost cause after all.

 

Woodbury, Georgia Actually Exists

For those who aren’t caught up yet, Woodbury is one of the two major locations featured in Season 3. It’s a small town based around a single Main Street where everyone knows each other, and it looks and feels like a sanctuary in the midst of apocalyptic chaos.

You might not be surprised to find that Woodbury is a real place; authors and screenwriters have a long history of using real locations as backdrops for their stories.

The Prison has to be around here somewhere.
The Prison has to be around here somewhere.

What you may not know is that the real Woodbury is only a half an hour’s drive south of Senoia, where all the the Woodbury scenes were filmed.

RELATED: The Last of Us Game Review

The popularity of the series has given rise to App-guided Dead Tours around Senoia, where you can let your smartphone guide you around locations featured in the show. Not to be outdone, Atlanta is hosting a Walker Stalker Convention from November 1st through the 3rd. It seems Georgia is really proud of Walking Dead’s success!

Got any more little-known Walking Dead facts? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Greg Trombley

    Greg

  • I'm an RDU-based novelist and passionate champion of scientific progression. Nature and science live side-by-side in my heart. I clean dinosaur bones in my spare time, and love reading about local history. All my articles.

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