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Top 5 Fan Theories of How The Walking Dead World Came to Be

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Michael Wynands Rick and company have been fighting to survive for years, but what forced them into this monstrous world? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for top 5 fan theories of how “The Walking Dead” world came to be. For this list, we’re focusing on the most inspired, straightforwardly plausible or original hypotheses explaining the zombie apocalypse. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Rick and company have been fighting to survive for years, but what forced them into this monstrous world? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for top 5 fan theories of how “The Walking Dead” world came to be.

For this list, we’re focusing on the most inspired, straightforwardly plausible or original hypotheses explaining the zombie apocalypse.

#5: Recreational Drugs Went Very Wrong
In “The Walking Dead,” we’re given very little explanation as to how this undead epidemic got started. However, in “Fear the Walking Dead,” the sister series that focuses on the outbreak from the very beginning, we get an interesting scene involving drugs that inspired much online speculation. Gloria is a drug user, and, at least from the perspective of many viewers, she becomes Patient Zero in Los Angeles. It might be as simple an answer as: “she overdosed and came back infected.” But what if she got a bad batch of experimental drugs and those narcotics are what started this nightmare? And for a really deep and out-there dive, check the fan theories linking the outbreak to “Breaking Bad.”

#4: A Simple Lab Experiment Caused It All
Unfortunately, according to “Fear the Walking Dead” showrunner Dave Erickson, creator Robert Kirkman has made it clear that we’ll never actually learn the exact cause, on either show, despite the fact that HE knows. So viewers just have to keep trying to connect the dots. In the season 1 “Walking Dead” finale, Dr. Edwin Jenner’s research at least confirms that the cause is scientific in nature and not the result of something magical or supernatural. But other than that, he doesn’t provide much insight. Given Kirkman’s insistence that the “how” doesn’t matter, many fans have chosen to accept the simplest solution: a scientist in some laboratory made a big mistake, like in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise.

#3: It Was Just a Fast-Acting Virus
Our world is already full of viruses that are constantly evolving. If a virus is to blame for the epidemic in “The Walking Dead,” the effects of this particular strain are, of course, extreme and impossible to explain scientifically. But minus the whole dying thing, it’s not that dissimilar from one common virus found in our world today: rabies. So if this mystery virus were to have gotten into the watern or become airborne, due to the lack of outward symptoms before death, it could very well have spread far and wide. Of course, it could all be the result of a parasitic spore like in “The Last of Us.”

#2: It Was Medicine Gone Awry
Actors are often given a lot of backstory to work with, but not the cast of TWD and FTWD. Because Kirkman keeps mum about the origins of the epidemic, even with the talent, they were left to use their imaginations. “Fear the Walking Dead” actor Cliff Curtis has chimed in with what he thinks may have been the cause, though he clarifies that this is his personal theory, nothing more. He hypothesized in one interview that we’re so over-medicated and pumped full of immunizations that our bodies have gone into overdrive and refuse to die. Others have suggested that this echoes anti-vaxxers’ unfounded theories that somehow preventative medicine has made us fundamentally ill.

#1: Biological Warfare Went Horribly Wrong… Or Exactly According to Plan
We live in a scary world. Modern international conflict features drones, cyber-attacks, ridiculously advanced weaponry and, illegal or not… the threat of biological warfare. Doesn’t an undead epidemic seem like the sort of terrible plague a desperate government or terrorist group would whip up and use against their enemies? Many have speculated that the epidemic in “The Walking Dead” is one of two things: either a successful attack by a foreign enemy or domestic terrorist group, or an American-made biological weapon that was accidentally deployed on home turf. Both seem like plausible explanations; and, if correct, contribute to a solid argument against biological weapons in the real world.
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