2012/03/18 00:40:29 UTC by Jonathan James

The Walking Dead Showrunner Glen Mazzara talks Zombie Infection Rules

**Spoiler Warning: Do not read if you haven’t seen episode 2.12 (Better Angels)**

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead left many unanswered questions regarding how zombie infection works, especially for those that haven’t read the comic series.

While showrunner Glen Mazzara promises that more will be revealed in the season 2 finale, he also provide a number of answers during a recent conference call I was a part of:

What did the flash scenes of walkers mean at the end of Better Angels?

Glen Mazzara: “We’ve never had a main character become a zombie to this extent. I really wanted to put the audience in there and cut to Shane’s POV. Those pops represent the storm that is perhaps in Shane’s brain. We’ve cut it that way so that people think the episode is over and you don’t know if you are watching a commercial or promo. That really makes you lean in for the rest of the episode. It is important to me to use certain things coming from horror films because I always do want this show to be a horror story first…”

Why did Shane turn so quickly?

Glen Mazzara: “It’s consistent with how we internally approach how somebody becomes a walker and what type of walker they become. So in our rationale, Amy was a weaker character than Shane and she was attacked. Shane is full of life. He’s in a murderous rage and there’s just more energy so he’s obviously going to be a scarier zombie. He’s going to reanimate quicker… there’s just more life in that zombie, believe it or not.

We do have zombies of different strengths. We have some catatonic zombies… not all zombies play the same and we do have internal rules for that. So what you saw [with Shane] was very, very consistent with how we approach it here. Those are rules that the writers work out and Greg Nicotero’s involved with that and Robert Kirkman so we do take our internal logic very seriously. What you saw was consistent.”

Is this related to what Dr. Jenner whispered to Rick in Season 1?

Glen Mazzara: “…all I can say is there will be answers about the nature of that virus revealed in the finale.”

Will the virus ever be fully explained?

Glen Mazzara: “I like our characters being in the dark. That’s something that we’ve been pretty faithful to Robert’s comic book, particularly in this second season. The survivors on the ground don’t have a lot of that information. They don’t know what causes it and they’re just trying to live in this post-apocalyptic world.

So that’s something that I think is one of the rules of The Walking Dead: we really don’t know what’s going on and it’s a matter of how do we survive… So, we’ll answer some questions and then always have other questions, but it’s actually more exciting when our characters don’t know what’s going on and don’t know if they’ll ever be safe again.”

Will we see the beginning of the outbreak?

Glen Mazzara: “That’s a question that [always] comes up. I feel like that story’s been told in many zombie and outbreak movies. Maybe that’s something that we could do in a webisode, or in some other way to tell that story, but it’s not something that really interests me.

I’m not interested in that because I want to propel the story forward. There’s a lot of adrenaline involved in the story, and that’s just my natural inclination as a story teller. I don’t want to go back. I want to keep people guessing.

I want to keep people confused on the edge of their seat so they don’t know what’s coming next. They don’t have all the information and they’re trying to figure it out and they’re on the run. That’s exciting. That’s the kind of show I’m interested in telling. That’s the kind of show I want to watch.”

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