Although creator Robert Kirkman calls The Walking Dead a "zombie show," he maintains that they've never seen a zombie before. That is, the characters in #TheWalkingDead universe live in a world where zombie movies, comics, and folklore aren't a thing. It makes sense: This is why they make up different names for the walkers, and why they have to learn how to deal with them rather than just pop 'em in the head like they've seen before in Resident Evil.
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Talking to Conan, Kirkman explained the decision:
"Zombie lore is very popular and we wanted to avoid that notion of 'hey why isn't that character just shooting that zombie in the head 'cuz they 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 . No-one inside 'The Walking Dead' has seen a Romero movie, so they can't get the rules from that.
We felt like having people not use the word would separate it from that, make things a little more clear."
Keeping his characters in the dark about the rich cinematic history of zombiedom doesn't mean that Kirkman hasn't done his homework — check out some of the awesome movie tribute zombies in The Walking Dead:
If you have any cool ideas about The Walking Dead universe, share your thoughts in the comments below!
Would Rick and Daryl be good at zombie horror games like 'Resident Evil'?