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Daryl’s Upcoming Spinoff Needs to Confront The Walking Dead’s Longest-Running Zombie Plot Gap

Published on March 14th, 2023 | Updated on March 14th, 2023 | By FanFest

Daryl’s upcoming series is tasked with resolving a story arc that was left incomplete even after 11 seasons of The Walking Dead. It comes as no surprise then, that this universe contains quite a few details which were never fully explained—a reality exacerbated by the fast-paced nature of the show’s plot. Through the course of this story, we witness a series of travelers traversing the land in search of answers and solutions to their zombie-filled plight. Still, Rick, Carl, Michonne–as well as Daryl and all those alongside them–simply try to make do with what they have while most questions remain unanswered.

Moreover, another factor for why The Walking Dead left certain details unanswered was because of the franchise’s future. With four spinoff shows in development and potentially more on the horizon due to its tremendous success, it stands to reason that these programs will investigate some storylines which were only briefly covered by The Walking Dead. Through the creation of spinoffs, The Walking Dead can address many unresolved plot holes. Most notably, Daryl’s spinoff could potentially resolve one of the biggest debates about TWD – it’s zombie variants!

For a while, the cause of zombie variants in The Walking Dead remained mysterious. However, season 11 attempted to explain this phenomenon by suggesting they could be due to evolution or learning amongst zombies since the apocalypse began. This idea is compelling upon first glance; yet it falls short when surveyed more thoroughly. As early as season 1, Rick encountered different types of undead–before enough time had passed for them to have evolved significantly.


The Walking Dead‘s variants may have a more complex cause than the series suggests. Though Season 11 did not provide many answers, clues are hidden in the show’s lore – such as a post-credits scene from the World Beyond finale featuring scientific researchers who confess they “made it worse.” This could mean that these scientists unknowingly caused variant zombies to manifest, which would give an entirely new depth of understanding to this mystery. As Variant Zombies demonstrate a greater degree of intelligence than Lurkers or Roamers (by exhibiting the ability to open doors, run, and make use of rudimentary weapons), they could be the product of an experimental attempt by this research team to develop a cure for the virus.

World Beyond Hinted At A Different TWD Variant Explanation

The French man proposed that the variant mutation was a result of scientists’ meddling. This would better explain why Rick encountered a variant zombie at the start of The Walking Dead. Then, these variants seemingly vanished only to return later on in episodes. Most zombies shown in  The Walking Dead were either Roamers or Lurkers but if they were actually products of an ill-fated effort by researchers to cure the virus, this could justify their irregular appearances throughout the show’s airing history. This may also explain their heightened intelligence, as scientists could have been attempting to bring back human consciousness in the undead.

Daryl Dixon’s Spinoff Can Finally Address Walking Dead Variant Zombies

Daryl’s spinoff is uniquely positioned to answer many of the franchise’s mysteries for two compelling reasons. For starters, his role as a fearless assassin gives him an advantage in taking on more formidable zombies and making it out alive– something that would be perfectly plausible from this character but not so much from Rick or Michonne who have plenty of unresolved plotlines already. Meanwhile, Daryl’s familiarity means his spinoff will need a hook, and new villains could provide this.

Despite the fact that humans in The Walking Dead’s post-apocalyptic setting have posed as some of its most menacing villains, it is still the hordes of relentless zombies who remain a primary cause for concern. Variants Zombies are exceptionally faster and smarter than Lurkers and Roamers, adding another layer to their level of danger. With Daryl Dixon Spinoff on its way, we can expect an exciting storyline with a new villain that will leave even Daryl feeling insecure about his future; variant zombies’ presence will surely contribute to this underlying fear making sure audiences won’t get bored anytime soon.

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as seen on promo graphic


as seen on promo graphic