The Walking Dead: How Daryl Dixon’s “Amped Up” Zombies Work

The Walking Dead: Darly Dixon producers explain everything you need to know about the franchise’s new zombies.

A zombie in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 6
Photo: Emmanuel Guimier | AMC

This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon finale.

When The Walking Dead‘s final season introduced zombie “variants” that could pull off physical maneuvers more sophisticated than your average walker, some fans were a little confused and perhaps even disappointed. One of those fans, it turns out, was The Walking Dead producer and resident zombie-maker-in-chief Greg Nicotero.

“The variants that were introduced in the last season of The Walking Dead didn’t make any sense,” Nicotero tells Den of Geek‘s Aaron Sagers. “Because it wasn’t earned. They were like ‘oh, if you go back to the first season, zombies use rocks and smash windows.’ It didn’t make any sense that after eleven seasons that we hadn’t seen any of that.”

As Nicotero mentions, The Walking Dead team did indeed try to explain away its walkers’ new skills by pointing to some examples of door-knob turning and apparent vestigial memories from season 1. Additionally, the lore-heavy post-credits scene in spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond suggested that French scientists had encountered some of these “variant cohort” zombies. Still, these new walkers seemed to violate the franchise’s very strict rules regarding the undead.


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