The Walking Dead stars share their theories, some not-so-serious, behind the cause of TWD Universe’s zombie apocalypse and how the show might end. Comic book creator Robert Kirkman never revealed the origins of the worldwide virus that caused the dead to reanimate as flesh-eating walkers, calling it a “a crazy sci-fi thing that would make the story all that much weirder.” When pitching the book to Image Comics, Kirkman had to lie to get The Walking Dead published: Kirkman previously admitted he only sold executives on the idea when he fibbed about an eventual origin revealing the outbreak preceded an invasion by aliens, who used zombies to weaken the world’s infrastructure.
“I think it’s aliens,” Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron, said at German Comic Con Dortmund. “Either aliens were the cause of the zombie apocalypse, or aliens are going to come down and wipe us all out. Either way, it’s gonna be awesome.”
Former Abraham Ford star-turned-TWD director Michael Cudlitz chimed in with suspicions the apocalypse is human-caused, possibly through government or scientific meddling.
“I think we did it to ourselves,” he said. “I think they were developing something and it went really wrong.”
Veteran Carol actress Melissa McBride, who earlier admitted she never expected her character to survive beyond the first season, went meta when sharing her theory about The Walking Dead's eventual ending.
“I think that it’s a television show,” McBride said. “Somebody says, ‘Cut! That’s a wrap!’ And then you see all these walkers take their faces off, just hug each other and walk away, and it’s just been a television show the whole time.”
“So basically Melissa’s saying it will end in cancellation,” Cudlitz quipped.
Season 10 has already set up Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) one day inheriting the ending that belonged to brother Carl in the comic books, but it remains to be seen if The Walking Dead explores the origin of the zombie apocalypse — either in the mothership series or elsewhere in TWD Universe, soon expanding with second spinoff series The Walking Dead: World Beyond and a trilogy of theatrical films starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes.
In 2017, Kirkman expressed disinterest in ever having the mystery of the virus solved on The Walking Dead.
“As far as actually trying to solve the thing, I’ve always thought that one of the best things about this show is that it’s not about scientists and it’s not about people that would take that on as a task – because I feel like that’s unrelatable,” he said at San Diego Comic-Con. “To go off and try to solve this would be a boring show, so definitely not.”
TWD Season 10 returns with new episodes Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.