SUMMARY

  •  Giant zombie herds pose the new biggest threat in The Walking Dead universe, following the revelation of how destructive they are in The Ones Who Live finale.
  •  Massive zombie herds would threaten the core survivors and their enemies, making them the biggest villain in the entire franchise.
  •  Variants need more exploration to become a bigger threat, which could tie into zombies coming back as the new, major antagonist of the franchise.

The Walking Dead has hinted that its next big threat will be season 1’s most dangerous enemy, potentially bringing the entire franchise’s story full circle. The zombie universe has featured plenty of classic villains across its many seasons and spinoffs. These range from smaller groups like the Governor’s Woodbury to larger outfits like the CRM. All have posed threats to the core survivors’ ability to live and thrive in the post-apocalypse, leading to conflicts resulting in major loss and big changes.

Because of how many villainous groups and leaders the franchise has featured since the series began, conflicts involving other survivor groups has become a staple of the series. However, because The Ones Who Live ended with Rick and Michonne defeating the CRM – the most powerful and widely-operating group in The Walking Dead so far – the remaining threats in other spinoffs don’t appear as daunting. Yet their final episode may have confirmed a familiar villain that will become the franchise’s next big enemy.

Giant Zombie Herds Pose The Biggest Threat In The Walking Dead Universe

Massive Zombie Herds Were Used To Destroy Omaha

Variant Walkers in The Walking Dead

During the Echelon Briefing in The Ones Who Live finale, Rick learns massive zombie herds that can get up to one million in strength are all around the world.The CRM’s plan involves trying to combat these herds, but also using them to destroy communities like Omaha and the Campus Colony, as seen in World Beyond. However, with the CRM now under the watchful eye of the Civic Republic’s government, it doesn’t seem like their plans to move and combat massive herds is going to come to fruition anymore.

Now that massive herds have been established as a major problem across the world, they easily triumph as the largest threat in the franchise right now. While The Walking Dead could introduce new human villains that rival the CRM in the future, the mindlessly destructive nature of these massive herds make them even more dangerous than any group of people could be. This is because zombies don’t care who they’re attacking so long as they’re living. This makes these giant herds a threat not only to the show’s core survivors, but even the antagonists they’re fighting against.

The Walking Dead Still Needs To Properly Unpack Zombie Variants

Variants Need More Exploration To Become A Bigger Threat

A zombie from The Walking Dead with Daryl Dixon

In addition to the massive zombie herds, The Walking Dead variants add an extra layer of danger to the dead. As of writing, Daryl Dixon has showcased the most dangerous types of zombies, including ones with acidic blood and others that are faster and more tenacious. The Walking Dead series finale introduced zombies similar to some found in season 1, having the ability to pick up objects and climb. This horde was so large and dangerous, part of the Commonwealth had to be blown up to defeat it.

Even so, zombie variants haven’t been explored thoroughly despite how prominent they’re becoming. Those seen in France are made by the Pouvoir, while the ones found in the United States seem naturally occurring. If zombies become a major threat again in the form of these new, massive herds, variants can be more thoroughly explored and explained. Their presence in these herds could also make them even more dangerous, heightening the level of danger associated with these massive zombie clusters.

Making Zombies The Main Threat Again Would Be Great For The Walking Dead

Zombies Would Threaten The Core Survivors & Their Enemies

Events Between Walking Dead Ending And Dead City

Zombies have always been a threat in The Walking Dead, but their presence as the main antagonist of the show has waned in recent years. While the series finale’s herd and Daryl Dixon‘s variants are dangerous, they were accompanied by human villains like Pamela Milton and the Pouvoir, making them secondary threats. The last time zombies were the main threat was during season 6, when Rick and his group battled against a massive herd in Alexandria. Returning to zombies as a major threat would be a reminder of how dangerous they can really be.

Making herds the new major threat for the franchise could also bring The Walking Dead spinoffs together thematically. Each of the franchise’s core survivors would be forced to deal with strengthening zombies in their own unique settings. Herds in Daryl Dixon would no doubt contain plenty of dangerous variants to contend with, while those in Dead City would make New York’s streets claustrophobic. This could represent an evolution of the universe back to the dead being the key threat major characters have to deal with.

Now that giant zombie hordes have been established as a key element of The Walking Dead, future appearances could further emphasize their status as the most dangerous threat in the franchise. Zombies as the villains could force humanity to unite, having to combat herds so massive they threaten the very existence of survivors who still remain. Since The Ones Who Live has planted this as a key element of the universe, further episodes in other spinoffs could continue building on the idea of zombies as the biggest enemy the franchise has ever seen.