Have you ever noticed that The Walking Dead never calls zombies, zombies? Fans hear them described as biters, walkers, roamers, rotters and even geeks but the flesh-eating undead are never called zombies.
The comic book co-creator and executive producer on the hit AMC series, Robert Kirkman has now revealed once and for all why you’ll never hear the term used.
Appearing on Conan O’Brien, Kirkman said that ‘zombies’ don’t exist in the Walking Dead world before the outbreak of the ‘living’ dead.
“Well, zombie lore is very popular. We wanted to avoid that notion of, ‘Hey, why doesn’t that character just shooting that zombie in the head because it saw all those movies I saw.’ We wanted to kind of give you a sense that The Walking Dead takes place in a universe where zombie fiction doesn’t exist,” he explained.
The creators didn’t want characters to have ideas about how to kill a zombie from fiction or movies like 28 Days Later or Shaun of the Dead.
He said: “No one inside The Walking Dead has seen a [George Romero] movie, so they can’t get the rules from that. It felt like having people not use that word would kind of separate it from that, make it a little bit more clear.”
But just because inside the world of TWD doesn’t know the term zombie, Kirkman certainly does and even calls it a “zombie show” within the scripts but it’s not ever mentioned in the dialogue.
The Walking Dead’s midseason finale airs Sunday 11 December at 9 p.m. on AMC.