The Walking Dead will resume its current season on February 25, at a time when much of the United States will still be immersed in winter weather. In recent seasons, many of the show's most important storylines have taken place in northern Virginia, where it's not uncommon to see snow. So, during a Walker Stalker Con Q&A over the weekend, fans asked Walking Dead creator (and one of the show's executive producers) Robert Kirkman the inevitable question: Why haven't we ever seen frozen walkers on The Walking Dead?
According to Kirkman (Via ComicBook.com), a lot of it has to do with the show being filmed in Georgia, where snow is quite rare. To get the effect right, the production would either have to completely coat a set or location in artificial snow or create an entire winter landscape with CGI, and that's just not in the budget. So, while numerous issues of The Walking Dead comic book series have taken place in the dead of winter, the TV series hasn't gone there yet.
"So yeah, we haven't been able to do that in the show because it's impractical to cover Georgia with snow in the summertime, don't quite have the budget for that," Kirkman said.
That's a shame, because Kirkman actually imagined something very visually compelling when depicting how the walkers react to winter in the comics. Because they move so slowly, the freezing temperatures ultimately get to them, but since they can't die of exposure, they simply stop moving.
"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."
So will we ever get to see that image onscreen? Kirkman doesn't offer a theory, but showrunner Scott M. Gimple said in 2016 that he'd be "shocked" if the show lived out its entire run without ever featuring a snowy landscape, budget concerns or not. The Walking Dead has been around for nearly a decade now, and the hit AMC series has done a lot of creative (and creatively gross) things with zombies. Freezing them in place seems like it could be the final frontier.
The Walking Dead returns for its Season 8 midseason premiere on February 25.