The Walking Dead How People Become Zombies [Spoiler]

Warning do not read this article if you have not seen all the episodes of The Walking Dead season 2 that have aired so far.

After the airing of Episode 12 of The Walking Dead, “Better Angels”, the Internet was suddenly ablaze with the question: “How do people turn into zombies on The Walking Dead? The answer to that question cuts the very core of the causes of the zombie apocalypse defined by George A. Romero and Night of the Living Dead and continued via countless zombie films as well as books such as 'World War Z', 'The Zombie Survival Guide' and 'The Walking Dead' graphic novels.

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alycakes2590d ago

That is the most informative article about zombies I've ever read about how they become that I think about it....on the show they don't even show how it got started. Rick wakes up and it had already started.

But it all makes more sense to me now. Great article.

Best-Horror-Movies2590d ago

After years of reading, researching and learning zombie history and culture it's the only logical explanation in the case of The Walking Dead. Glad you liked it!

Soldierone2590d ago (Edited 2590d ago )

Spoilers below

I dunno, (I'm not being mean it was a good article) but it didn't really explain anything for those of us already digging into the show. Basically it just says "they turn no matter what" and we basically got that from the show lol....other than that they explain the "virus" in other films is not needed.

Also I think they somewhat did show the beginning with the flashback of Shane and Rick in the hospital. The army was killing everyone, it didn't matter zombie or not. That was the first sign that "no matter what your going to be a zombie" especially since it was a hospital, that would be the first place to clear out in this instance.

My question isn't about how they turn, but why some people don't turn. The people in the cars, the zombie in the tank, random people laying dead outside of the hospital, etc...

Personally think its an air thing, and what is making it worse is people burning the zombies. Its putting it into the air, I thought of that the very first time they did it.

John Kratos2590d ago

You're right about pretty much everything there, but I was watching the Talking Dead, and one of the producers was on. H e said that in those scenes like the highway, they made sure that all of the dead people you saw died of some visual trauma to the head. So I think that's the explanation for the dead bodies, they were either shot in the head and you can't really see it,or they had some other sort of damage to the brain, rendering it useless.

But who know's, the showrunners have been known to lie before, (to keep spoilers at bay, not to be intentionally mean or anything), so maybe some people are immune or it's something you breathe in. Though I think they're going to stick close to the comics and focus on the survival of the characters and not what's causing the outbreak

Soldierone2590d ago

Also notice how when they come to certain area's the show emphasizes burnt bodies. In the town Shane went to, the garage was filled with burned boddies, the two cops had a burnt corpse near them, the first major city also had some.

Perhaps it was a virus at first, but was made to go airborne if the body is burned.

jony_dols2590d ago

Like any disease some people will have a natural immunity to it. Hence why some of the corpses on the Highway never reanimated.


I doubt it was spread via the burning of victims, in fact, in Medieval Europe cremation was one the only effective ways of curbing infectious diseases. Fire kills practically every virus, and it definitely does not magically cause it to mutate into an airborne strand.

Another potential reason why some of the corpses might never have reanimated on the Highway, is because they were buckled in, trapped within their cars, with the windows rolled up and left to fester in the Atlanta summer heat. Which inhibited the virus from taking effect.

Hozi2590d ago

I really believe Shane turned into a zombie when he cut his hand in the schoolbus. and at one point he passed it on a female zombie's mouth by accident. it was fairly quick so re watch that episode.

jony_dols2590d ago

Robert Kirkman (the comic books creator & the executive producer of the show) explained how reanimation works:

...the rule is: WHATEVER it is that causes the zombies, is something everyone already has. If you stub your toe, get an infection and die ... you turn into a zombie. UNLESS your brain is damaged. If someone shoots you in the head and you die're dead. A zombie bite kills you because of infection, or blood loss ... not because of the zombie "virus."

Shane died because of the stab wound, and like everyone else who dies and their brain isn't destroyed ( the kid Randall), the dormant virus in his system reanimated them.

cb4g2590d ago

@jony_dols: Robert Kirkman's explanation doesn't explain why Rick feels the need to chop peoples' limbs off in the comic when they are bitten there?

Didn't Dale get bitten and then Rick chopped off his leg to stop him from dying? From this, I would assume that a zombie bite can kill like some sort of poison.

I agree that a dormant virus reanimates the dead but I think a zombie bite is poisonous and can kill someone if it spreads throughout their body.

ChocalateDog2032590d ago


Exactly, the bite unleashes a massive infection which spreads very fast and than proceeds to kill the infected. By cutting off the limb where the bite is, they stop the infection in its tracks.

aDDicteD2590d ago (Edited 2590d ago )

well now that the series showed us how zombies exist via airborne, zombie bite and natural death wonder how they'll handle things and how they'll figure out a solution or a cure on this

Hozi2590d ago

I wonder if they will survive the massive horde of zombies coming for them from the forest.

aDDicteD2590d ago

i'm pretty sure they will survive that one

Hozi2589d ago

I have no idea what the cure may be, but my guess is that it can be found in animals. I mean no animals are turning into zombies. maybe they are immune to the disease.

Whore_Mouth2590d ago

In the graphic novel the bite would only kill you from the massive infection it caused.

There were three cases in the GN that psychotic people would kill people just to keep them as zombies.

Everyone is already infected. Much like it was in George Romero's "Land of The Dead".

cjflora2590d ago

I'm ok with this explanation that everyone's infected, but you have to die, except for the fact that they are so adament about not being bitten. I understand that getting bitten causes an infection which causes death, but if there is no actual transfer of the virus then why is nobody trying to stop someone from dying after being bitten? At this point everyone assume the moment you're bitten, you're a goner. If the actual zombie virus or infection isn't being passed on in that bite, why not try to keep it from killing the person?

eak32587d ago

None of this reasonably explains why people on the highway didn't turn. Immunity to a widespread virus is typically a very low percentage of the population so that doesn't explain the hundreds of people dead in their cars on the highway. I like the idea of everyone being infected and re-animating. I'm doubting we will ever get an explanation for this discrepancy. That being said I'm just nit-picking it doesn't detract from the show at all, just wish their was a better explanation is all.