The walking dead zombies have been following the same rules for 11 years. World Beyond’s post-credits scene changes everything, introducing zombie variants.
Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead: The World Beyond
For 11 years, The walking deadZombies used to be the slow and heavy kind, but unfortunately for the remnants of humanity this particular rule no longer applies. The zombie genre is filled with all kinds of undead variations, but The walking dead has always subscribed to the classic “Romero” model. These monsters are reanimated corpses who have lost their ability to reason, as well as much of their motor function. Staggering aimlessly in search of flesh is all they can handle, and that’s that common brand of zombie Rick Grimes and co. have been fighting since The walking dead started in 2010.
The Walking Dead: The World Beyondthe final post-credits sequence of has seismic consequences for the larger Walking Dead franchise. For starters, the scene confirms a French lab as the point of origin for the zombie outbreak, revealing how a team of scientists fabricated the virus for as yet unknown purposes. There is also a video appearance of Dr. Jenner from Noah Emmerich from The walking dead season 1, recorded before meeting Rick Grimes. Jenner is worried about “variant cohorts“which have been reported in France, but are not present in the United States.
The post-credits sequence then reveals precisely what he meant – fast zombies who are also smarter than The walking dead‘s typical monsters. World beyondThe final scene shows a scientist shot dead by another survivor as punishment for his role in creating the virus. As you might expect, his corpse soon reanimates, coming to life just as Walking Dead viewers have seen it countless times before. Instead of slowly sneaking around the lab, however, the undead scientist begins to run at a brisk pace, presenting a whole new type of zombie in The walking dead. These creatures look like zombies in Second World War, by Zack Snyder Dawn of the dead, or rabies-infected in 28 days later. If that wasn’t enough, World beyondThe variant zombies also appear smarter than usual. Instead of wandering aimlessly until he’s awake, the dead scientist runs straight to the exit of the lab and desperately bangs the door. Possessing the means to determine a way out proves these zombies are fast and smart.
The Walking Dead: The World Beyond neglects to detail how these evolved zombies came to be, but drops enough clues to piece together an approximate sequence of events. The French solution mentioned by Dr Jenner’s video implies, “Steroid therapy to revive the circulatory system in the hope of … regaining its function. âCut through scientific jargon, it sounds eerily like reactivating inactive parts of a zombie brain. French scientists may have thought they could reactivate zombie brains, but the test ended up making them faster and smarter living dead, triggering a mutation in France’s virus. That would explain why the cigarette-smoking attacker claims scientists “did it [the virus] worse, and also why these variants of zombies have been present in France since The walking dead season 1, but are not seen at all in the US
Alternatively, the zombies evolved in World beyondThe post-credits scene from May Solve an 11-year-old plot hole. Back when The walking dead was still settling into its groove, the first few episodes featured undead a bit smarter than usual – banging things with rocks and politely opening doors using the handle. Perhaps the French scientists simply sped up a rare mutation that occurs naturally, making the variants much more common than they otherwise would have been.
Adding variants of zombies to The walking dead is a huge step forward for the franchise, and a strong indication of where AMC’s flagship property is heading. The Walking Dead: The World BeyondPost-credits don’t show whether these evolved zombies are exclusive to France or have spread further into Europe, but it’s surely only a matter of time before the same strain hits American shores, bringing a whole new edge to the apocalypse.
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