Photo: Scott Gimple Twitter Account
The Walking Dead might have started off as a series born from incredible comic books, but it’s grown into a staple of pop culture. Not only have conventions, cruises, fan meetups, and some incredible art been born from the series, it’s going down in history, quite literally, as a shaper of pop culture.
The series, aired on AMC and returning in less than two weeks for its 100th episode, has secured a place in the Smithsonian. The National American History Museum is now home to a number of relics from the series that reflect some of the biggest moments and turning points in the show’s first 7 seasons.
The cast weren’t the only ones who realized what a special honor it was to be part of something larger than life. Museum director John Gray had this to say about being on stage with The Walking Dead‘s contribution to the museum.
This is the first time I’ve ever been on stage with this kind of collection as a donation to the National Museum — and it is pretty extraordinary.
For some, it’s hard to understand why a series about a zombie apocalypse draws in such an incredibly large fan base, or why the show is 7 seasons in and showing no signs of slowing down. However, for fans of the series, the answer is simple. It’s a show about the human experience, it’s not the setting and the undead that make it so unforgettable, it’s the characters and their hearts. It’s how they survive and what they fight for – it’s about living in a world that’s trying to break you.
The exhibit in the Smithsonian embodies that in a way that will outlast the series itself. It now holds items from the very first season to the most recent and they’re all impactful in their own way.
Summer’s outfit is one of the items in the collection, which serves as a stark reminder that the disease that turned humans into walkers didn’t discriminate. As does the ‘bicycle girl’ prop, paying homage to the first zombie that Rick killed, after telling her that he’s sorry.
Hershel’s head, taken off by the Governor, is there as well (as seen in the photo from Norman’s Instagram above). Daryl’s crossbow is joined by Michonne’s Katana – memorializing the power and the fight they both bring to the series. There are additional costumes, specifically ones worn by Carl and Glenn in season one as well as Merle Dixon’s arm rig.
Just looking at the items brought us back to, as we said earlier, some of those moments in the series that stand out in our minds the most. The moments that prove just how human these characters still are, how dark the fight became, and how strong one must be to survive.
There was a ceremony to commemorate the occasion this afternoon, and many of the cast members were in attendance. Showing their gratitude to be part of something so monumental and having a moment to appreciate everything they’ve worked so hard for.