The Walking Dead: World Beyond might have just answered one of the franchise’s biggest questions: What exactly caused the zombie outbreak?
Despite running for nine seasons now, AMC’s wildly popular show The Walking Dead still hasn’t provided a concrete answer about the origins of the virus that turns people into flesh-eating walkers.
There’s been plenty of rumors, of course. Some fans have suggested it could have been an airborne virus, others believe it may have come from the water. There’s even been speculation that the virus is man-made, as an act of terrorism.
But a new episode of spin-off series The Walking Dead: World Beyond which aired on Sunday, November 16 appears to have given weight to a previously-teased explanation of the outbreak’s origin.
During a flashback to her life as a soldier during the early days of the apocalypse, Huck and her unit are attempting to contain the crisis and rescue civilians when a pair of soldiers are overheard discussing that the virus may have come from outer space.
“I heard it came back on a rocket, that it started in space,” they said. “Somebody breathed it in, it turned their stomachs, and then they got on a plane…”
Robert Kirkman has hinted at the cause of the virus before
Viewers will likely remember that the show’s creator, Robert Kirkman, has previously hinted that the virus came from outer space. After a fan tried their luck and asked what the real cause was, Kirkman said in a now-deleted tweet, “space spore.”
While he did later follow up by explaining, “It was a joke! I would never reveal something like this in a tweet,” the new episode of World Beyond could add some weight to the virus being space-born after all.
It’s not quite the confirmation fans have been looking for, but it’s one of the only theories offered up by the show so far.
And it’s likely we’ll never get an official explanation, anyway, as Kirkman said during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in 2017 that it would be “boring” for the show to solve the mystery.
“As far as actually trying to solve the thing, I’ve always thought that one of the best things about this show is that it’s not about scientists and it’s not about people that would take that on as a task, because I feel like that’s unrelatable,” he said.
With the Walking Dead confirmed to come to an end after 11 seasons, and World Beyond only lasting for two seasons, fans are anticipating the future of the franchise. Fortunately, there’s a trilogy of movies about Rick Grimes in the works, and you can find out everything we know about those right here.