'The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman Addresses How Winter Affects Walkers

The reanimated and cannibalistic corpses of The Walking Dead are extremely susceptible to cold, as [...]

The reanimated and cannibalistic corpses of The Walking Dead are extremely susceptible to cold, as seen in Robert Kirkman's long-running comic book series, but budgetary limitations have prevented its live-action counterpart from showing the harsher effects of wintertime.

"We saw a little bit of that in the comics," the Walking Dead creator and producer told fans assembled for a Q&A session aboard Walker Stalker Con 2018.

"The idea was that they would kind of freeze in place and be preserved over the winter, and when things thawed out, they'd just kind of come back to life and go about their business."

Kirkman compared the phenomenon to behavior exhibited by alligators during the recent "Bomb Cyclone," where gators survived extreme temperatures by entering a mini-hibernation with their snouts poked above water — freezing themselves in place.

The executive producer explained it was cost prohibitive to convert Georgia, where the series is filmed, into a winter wonderland.

"So yeah, we haven't been able to do that in the show because it's impractical to cover Georgia with snow in the summer time, don't quite have the budget for that," Kirkman said.

The Walking Dead winter
(Photo: Image Comics)

The comic book series has frequently taken place in the dead of winter — with snow-covered locales and frostbitten survivors — and while the show has taken place during cooler temperatures, any snowy action has taken place strictly off screen.

"It's a hard one and one that we struggle with," said former showrunner Scott M. Gimple of the lack of snow in a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"In the comics, the seasons have been represented — not all the time, but there's been some really notable moments in the snow and even in autumn really. That's a challenge for us, we're thinking about it and figuring it out. Nothing could be further from winter than our shooting schedule. That's a challenge, and there are certain things we balance. Just being able to make the show is a challenge."

Later, in 2016, Gimple said he would be "shocked" if the series never featured snow. "It would be special if we did it," he added.

"If we can CGI a tiger," Kirkman joked at the time, "we can CGI some snow!"

The Walking Dead resumes its eighth season beginning Sunday, February 25 on AMC.