large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Here’s why ‘The Walking Dead’ doesn’t have ‘zombies’

It’s no secret that characters in The Walking Dead TV series steer clear of the ‘Z’ word, and now we know why.

The executive producer and director of The Walking Dead has revealed why the show avoids using the term ‘zombies’.

Speaking at today’s Walker Stalker Con 2016 here in London, Greg Nicotero confirmed that the characters have no concept of a zombie like we do in the real world.

“That word does not exist in The Walking Dead universe,” Nicotero said. “If you really think about the definition of the word zombie, it’s a Voodoo Haitian term for people who have been controlled using Voodoo.”

gregGreg Nicotero (left) at Walker Stalker Con 2016 in London

He described how zombies as we know them today didn’t exist until they turned up in film. That’s why The Walking Dead steers clear of the trope, instead opting to use the term “walkers” to describe reanimated corpses.

“Zombie, in terms of pop culture, was invented by George Romero. Not even in Night of the Living Dead, and not even in Dawn of the Dead,” explained Nicotero. “I think in Dawn of the Dead they used the word zombie once. So the word zombie has come about because of a zombie movie.”

“That’s why they’re not called that,” he added.

zombiesNight of the Living Dead (1968)

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Video

Nicotero also confirmed that we’ll “never hear the word zombie” on The Walking Dead, and that the scriptwriters are “very specific about never calling them zombies”.

However, he did admit to calling them zombies “on set”.

The original concept for “zombies” is generally considered to have come courtesy of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968. However, the term “zombie” was only applied to the movie by fans retrospectively.

zombiesZombies in TWD spin-off Fear the Walking Dead

Since then, the zombie craze has spawned countless movies, books, and TV series, including AMC’s hugely popular The Walking Dead, which averages 5.6 million viewers per episode.

What’s your favourite word for the living dead – zombies, walkers, or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.