Major spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x08, “How It’s Gotta Be.”
The Walking Dead executive producer and director Greg Nicotero — also the series’ special effects makeup guru — took fans into the process behind walker bites during a Q&A session at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey.
“It sounds really simple but it’s very difficult.” -Greg Nicotero on every zombie bite being different. pic.twitter.com/538yLF2ll4— Fan Fest News (@FanFestNews) December 10, 2017
"Every single time you do a zombie bite, the factors are different," Nicotero explained. "So when the blood starts to pump, all those things, you never, ever perfect the zombie bite, because there's always different variables and it makes it difficult. So every time we do it, we do it a little differently, because we're always trying to troubleshoot the best way to accomplish the tearing skin and immediate blood spray."
The latest major character to fall victim to a walker bite was seasoned survivor Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), who revealed he's been nursing a bite to the midsection in the closing moments of the mid-season finale.
Carl was at least spared a gory death — he wasn't torn to shreds by the undead, avoiding a death as grisly as T-Dog or Noah's — but the bite will play out as every other bite on the show has played out, as revealed by showrunner Scott M. Gimple.
Gimple, who referred to Carl's wound as a "one-way ticket," confirmed Carl will be dying when the show returns from its winter break in February.0comments
"The bite is going to play out as we’ve seen bites play out, and it’s very important to Carl’s story and the entire story what happens in the next episode," Gimple said.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC February 25.