The incredible power of The Walking Dead Family

The Walking Dead fans, known as the TWD Family, are a force of nature

As the New Year dawns and we close the door on 2020, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past year. It has been a year like no other, and one that we’re not likely to forget no matter how hard we try. Despite all of the monumental highs and the lowest of the lows, The Walking Dead Family is leaving 2020 and saying hello to 2021 the same way: Together.

The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into what was supposed to be *the* year for The Walking Dead franchise. With 42 weeks of content planned between three shows and the prospect of the Rick Grimes movies on the horizon, 2020 was going to be a huge year until fate jumped in the way and threw everything into chaos.

Yes, it was frustrating. Yes, it sucked. Yes, it was a colossal bummer.

But there was a lot of good that came from it, too, as we came together during quarantine. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Morgan welcomed us into their homes for Friday Night In with the Morgans. Colman Domingo invited us for cocktails and conversation with Bottomless Brunch with Colman Domingo. There was the TWD Holiday Special, fundraisers with Zoom calls with the cast and members of the cast starting their own web series. (Shoutout to Karen David and Danay Garcia, and so many more!)

We also saw that in the midst of such dark and trying times, goodness can prevail. We saw it as people around the world sought to help each other by providing supplies and food to people in need, just like Morgan’s group in Fear TWD. There were even people leaving supply boxes on their porches for delivery drivers with messages that mirrored the “take what you need, leave what you don’t” mantra from season 5. It was incredible. Hilarie Burton Morgan encouraged fans to sew masks for front line workers. Karen David inspired her fans to find ways to take care of themselves while also helping others.

It was amazing and inspiring.

We came together in ways we never could have come together before. Even though there were frustrations over not having the season 10 finale sooner, or divided opinions on episodes, performances and shows, we were still together as a family. And there is so much to look forward to in 2021 as we look ahead to the TWD season 10 bonus episodes, the second half of Fear TWD season 6 and the thrilling conclusion to TWD: World Beyond. We also continue to move closer to the Rick Grimes movies and new spinoffs and projects.

The world of The Walking Dead continues to get bigger and better, and the TWD Family is here for it.

In December I experienced the true power of the TWD Family when my mother passed away. I received messages from people all over the world. There were messages from people in the fandom I knew, messages from members of the TWD Universe cast and crew and a great number of messages from people I didn’t know personally (yet) but who had been following my work at Undead Walking and also followed along on social media as my mother battled cancer.

The Walking Dead has always been there with me through the months since my mom was first diagnosed. I conducted interviews with the cast from her hospital room. I interviewed Norman Reedus from the ER one morning. The only times I left my mother’s side came on the four nights I spent on the sets of Fear TWD and TWD: World Beyond. The shows and the wonderful family that has grown around the franchise have helped me in my grief these past few weeks.

As such, the fans, the shows and their casts have been a support system for me and I have been blessed to be able to write about the show for a living. I know some people always try to say I’m “shamelessly” promoting AMC and the shows, but the truth is that I genuinely love everything about this franchise and if I didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t write it.

On a personal note, 2021 will bring about some changes for me as I move from the site expert at Undead Walking to an expanded Staff Writer role at FanSided on January 1. (To clarify, Undead Walking is part of FanSided) While I won’t be writing for UW on a daily basis, and though it won’t be me posting from the UW social media accounts, I’ll still be a very big part of the Undead Walking family as I’ll still be bringing you the Undead Walking Podcast every week with the same discussion, speculation, reflection and exclusive interviews from the cast and crew that you have come to love.

As you all know, FanSided’s Undead Walking is a fan site run by fans for fans. We love the shows, characters and actors and we strive to bring you the best coverage out there, all from a place of appreciation for the franchise that we love. The site will be in good hands when I sign off at midnight on New Year’s Eve (this is actually my “last” official UW article, even though I’ll be writing articles about the Undead Walking podcast moving forward) and the TWD Family can count on amazing content moving forward because that’s what we do.

2020 has been a challenge for so many people and the TWD Family came together to help, as they have before in the past and as they will continue to do in the future. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021. And as I always say when signing off on the podcast: Be safe, wash your hands and watch out for those walkers!