The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman ended the comic book series last year without even explaining the root of the zombie outbreak. While some fans were fine with that, others were frustrated that they didn’t even get to know how it all started. But just this January, six months after the final issue of the comic book series was published, Kirkman seemingly revealed the cause of the zombie infection.
When asked on Twitter what the cause of the apocalypse was, Kirkman replied: “Space spore.” But because the tweet has since been deleted, it’s best to take his response with a grain of salt. After all, Kirkman likes to toy with The Walking Dead fans every so often.
But if Kirkman was telling the truth, then his response was likely a reference to George A. Romero’s 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead, where scientists believed that the reanimation of the dead was caused by the strange radiation that the Venus Space Probe was carrying on its way back to Earth. NASA discovered that the space probe contained high levels of unknown radiation and decided to destroy it as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.
During a 2018 Q&A on Tumblr, Kirkman said that revealing the origin of the zombie virus wouldn’t really have a big impact on the direction of the series, though he did say that he could randomly reveal the answer one day.
“It’s a crazy sci-fi thing that would make the story all that much weirder,” he wrote of the cause of the zombie virus. “Maybe years after it’s all over I’ll just casually mention it in an interview. That seems like a very J.K. Rowling thing to do. [But in the end] it couldn’t be less important to the story and the lives of these characters. It would be completely out of place in the story. Honestly, if a scientist from Washington came to the character and told them what happened the characters would just shrug and say ‘Oh… okay…’ it wouldn’t change their lives at all… and… I’ve said too much.”
While the comic book series ended without explaining the root of the zombie apocalypse, there’s always a possibility that it will be revealed on AMC’s TV adaptation. The TV show The Walking Dead has already been renewed for an eleventh season, and because it seems that it won’t be ending soon, it has enough time to uncover that mystery. And who knows, maybe the upcoming The Walking Dead spinoff series The Walking Dead: World Beyond will also provide some hints.
The Walking Dead Season 10 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead: World Beyond, meanwhile, will premiere on April 12th.