If you haven’t been infected by The Walking Dead yet, there’s a good chance you are already a zombie. Or don’t have a TV. In either case you are missing out and should probably get with the herd, because it’s only going to get better now that the show is back for its seventh season. That is unless you want to be the only roamer around the water cooler not discussing Lucille’s next victim.
There’s a lot we know about TWD. Like it’s the greatest show ever to feature cannibalism, Johnny Depp’s decapitated head, chocolate pudding and a little boy getting shot in the eye. Also, that Rick Grimes is a badass. But there are still plenty of off-screen trivia and on-screen easter eggs that even the most loyal of walkers have yet to sink their teeth into.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Walking Dead.
15. HBO PASSED BECAUSE THE SHOW WAS TOO VIOLENT
The network that has shown Khaleesi eating a heart, a pregnant lady stabbed to death and is not above having a brother rape his sister, felt The Walking Dead was just too violent for their viewers. Originally, the show’s creators pitched their idea to all the big players, and HBO, one of the most obvious fits, passed. They were willing to take it on only if the producers would significantly cut down on the violence. Because imploding a man’s skull? That’s fine. But doing the same to a zombie, that’s just not cool.
Come to think of it, AMC has made a career out of devouring HBO’s throwaways. Both Breaking Bad and Mad Men were turned down by them, though for vastly different reasons. Of course, that doesn’t make a network built on a foundation of nudity, violence and vulgarity finding The Walking Dead too extreme any less odd. Luckily, AMC on the other hand has no such qualms about seeing a zombie torn in half or whatever other grotesqueries the show can dish out, just so long as no one swears while they do it.
14. THE OPENING LOGO HAS BEEN DECAYING SINCE DAY ONE
After watching a show for long enough, it’s only natural to start zoning out during the opening credits; you might even find yourself fast-forwarding through them more often than not. But more than likely, even the most casual of viewers have noticed that The Walking Dead’s main title sequence changing over the years. From the photos of Shane and Lori in Season One to symbolic objects like badges, watches and arrows in later seasons, the credits have definitely mixed things up over the years. But one of the coolest evolutions to keep an eye out for is the ever-changing main logo, which has been getting darker, grimier and all-around more worn out from one season to the next.
13. NETWORKS ORIGINALLY WANTED IT TO BE A ZOMBIE CRIME PROCEDURAL
Before AMC came along and revived our interest in a zombie apocalypses, networks were reluctant to jump on board. In the years leading up to the series’ 2010 premiere, producer Gale Anne Hurd and original showrunner Frank Darabont had a rough go of it when they went around pitching Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel based on the world surviving an epidemic of walking corpses who eat people. The folks over at NBC finally offered to take it on at one point — so long as they left out the zombies.
Your guess is as good as ours as to what that would have looked like. Luckily, this idea fell dead, only to be replaced with an even more ridiculous one…turning the show into a “crime-of-the-week” procedural in the vain of Law & Order and CSI, only with zombies. That’s right readers, each week, Rick and Co. would solve a zombie related “crime” that would not only help provide a better understanding of human nature (somehow), but also answer the question that’s constantly on viewer’s minds: what exactly are the walker’s motives for eating those brains? Darabont politely declined and then ran away as fast as possible, because nothing will turn you into a mindless vegetable quicker than watching Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J chase down criminals on a weekly basis.
12. THE SHOW MIGHT EXIST IN THE SAME UNIVERSE AS BREAKING BAD
Who doesn’t love a good in-world crossover? Imagine it was revealed that Disney’s Anna and Elsa are related to Tarzan, or that Daredevil and the Ninja Turtles were created in the same accident. Just as mind blowing is the possible connection between two of AMC’s most popular shows.
You may have recognized the blazing red Dodge Challenger Glenn steals during Season 1 as the same vehicle Walter returns to a car dealership managed by a guy (wait for it) named Glenn. Or that Daryl’s brother Merle has a stash of drugs clearly containing some of Walter White’s trademark Blue Sky meth. Adding to the link, Daryl tells Beth that his brother knew a drug dealer who was a “janky little white guy” that had a penchant for using the word “bitch.” Or as we like to call him, Jesse Pinkman.
Now, this connection has never been officially confirmed, and the fact Breaking Bad was set in Albuquerque, New Mexico while The Walking Dead takes place in and around Georgia puts some distance between the two. But we’re convinced they live in the same universe, and we’re eagerly anticipating the spinoff showing how that car got all the way to Atlanta.
11. DALE ASKED TO BE KILLED OFF THE SHOW
The Walking Dead is known for unexpectedly killing off its main characters, so much so you never know who’s going to be next. Sometimes, even the writers are caught off guard, like when Jeffrey DeMunn asked that his character Dale be written off the show after the actor was offended that his friend and show creator Frank Darabont was fired midway through Season 2.
Being the versatile team they are, the show’s writers obliged, and instead of having Carl’s pet walker kill Hershel as originally intended, they swapped in Dale. As the moral center of the group, the loss of Dale left a big hole, but luckily, in turns out that all old silver-bearded white guys are interchangeable, and Hershel could easily be adapted to fill the future role Dale was to play throughout the series. All’s well that ends well, because no one could get their head chopped off with a samurai sword like Hershel.
10. DARYL WAS CREATED FOR NORMAN REEDUS AFTER HE AUDITIONED FOR MERLE
Fans of The Walking Dead comics are well aware that the character of Daryl is not from the book, and was created specifically for the TV show. Arguably the most popular survivor, it was a good thing they did, but why deviate so far from the original material? Because Norman Reedus is awesome.
Originally, Reedus auditioned for the role of Merle (who also didn’t exist in the comics) and was passed over for the part in favor of Michael Rooker. But TWD writer Robert Kirkman was so impressed by the former Boondock Saints star’s performance that he created the role of Daryl Dixon just so Norman could be on the show. It’s not everyday an actor nails a tryout so much that they come out with a brand new character tailor-made for their talents. But that’s just the type of bullseye we’ve come to expect from Mr. Reedus. Which is why it’s a shame he’s such a strong contender to die this season.
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