The Walking Dead theory season 1 didn’t introduce variant walkers

- The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC
- The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC /

There is always talk of variant walkers in The Walking Dead universe. These are new variations of the undead, which is always an exciting topic as they mean something new within TWDU. Many viewers are uncertain why the series introduced a different walker at the end of the main series when this could have been done much earlier, resulting in fantastic new storylines.

Walking Dead
Andrew Lincoln, Addy Miller, and Greg Nicotero – Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC /

First, let’s look back at season 1 of the series. The walkers were “smart” as they were seen picking up objects, turning door knobs, etc. Viewers saw the Teddy Bear Walker (Addy Miller) pick up her stuffed bear before turning to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). In another scene, Morgan’s (Lennie James) undead wife Jenny (Keisha Tillis) walks onto the porch of her former home and turns the doorknob. Other walkers scaled fences and picked up rocks to smash glass doors.

The Walking Dead season 1
The Walking Dead season 1 /

These walkers were the brainchild of the original showrunner, Frank Darabont. He wanted to show a type of intelligent walker who possibly had some memory retention of things they did before they died and were reanimated.

When Darabont was fired, new showrunner Glen Mazzara chose to revert to the slow-moving, unintelligent walkers featured in the source material, the comics created by Robert Kirkman.

So, technically, the new devolved walkers featured in the majority of the series would be the variants, as they vary from the original walkers in season 1. 

The Walking Dead variant walkers

Regardless of what defines a variant, viewers were not pleased to see the reappearance of “smart” walkers in the finale episodes of the series. It seemed too late in the game to do this because including these in previous seasons would have added an outstanding new dynamic to the series.

In an interview with AMC Talk, showrunner Angela Kang stated that featuring these walkers in the final episodes was a nod to the first season. During the first season, the question arose, “Do they have a consciousness?” referring to the walkers.

"Over time, pretty quickly, it moved away from that. But at the time, there were conversations about where else could the walkers go? It felt to me like it made sense in our world that there are things that our people don’t know yet. The world is wide and so if you happened to be in this one, small region of Georgia at this one moment in time maybe you saw some of these walkers that did these things, and then they were on the road and never saw them since.  – Angela Kang"

The Walking Dead: World Beyond

In the series finale of The Walking Dead: World Beyond spinoff, a coda scene showed what appeared to be some type of variant walker. When the woman reanimated, it was quite quick; she seemed to have some memory retention as she immediately headed to the door, which the man who shot her exited and possibly possessed some super strength as the metal door bowed as she pounded on it.

Are these the original walkers from season 1 of The Walking Dead, or are they variants found in France? Have the walkers in France not devolved like the American ones?

Of course, this is all speculation, but it brings up an interesting point.

Below is new information regarding the Daryl Dixon series, as explained publicly by Greg Nicotero. Click away if you don’t want to know. 

– The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC
– The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC /

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

In an interview with TV Insider, EP, director, and SFX master Greg Nicotero addressed variants or mutated walkers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon. 

"These zombies have mutated to a point where if they touch or bite you or their blood gets on you, it burns you significantly. It changes all the rules. – Greg Nicotero"

Now, THIS is a variant. To have to worry about being bitten by the undead is one thing, but to also be fearful of being severely burned in an environment where the burns will be difficult to impossible to treat is another. Hopefully, these walkers are heavily featured in the Daryl Dixon series, which premieres on AMC and AMC on September 10.

So, what are your thoughts? Reach out to me on Twitter and let me know your thoughts.

Next. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 2 filming has resumed in France. dark

Follow Undead Walking on Twitter and sign up for the once-daily Undead Walking newsletter to avoid missing out on everything in The Walking Dead universe.