The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard—together forming the core of The Walking Dead franchise. The series features a large ensemble cast as survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive under near-constant threat of attacks from zombies known as “walkers” (among other nicknames).
However, with the collapse of modern civilization, these survivors must confront other human survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, sometimes leading to open, hostile conflict between them.
The Walking Dead takes place after the onset of a worldwide zombie apocalypse. The zombies, referred to as “walkers”, shamble towards living humans and other creatures to eat them; they are attracted to noise, such as gunshots, and to different scents, e.g. humans.
Although it initially seems that only humans that are bitten or scratched by walkers can turn into other walkers, it is revealed early in the series that all living humans carry the pathogen responsible for the mutation. The mutation is activated after the death of the pathogen’s host, and the only way to permanently kill a walker is to damage its brain or destroy the body entirely, such as by cremating it.
The series centers on sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who wakes up from a coma. While in a coma, the world has been taken over by walkers. He becomes the leader of a group of survivors from the Atlanta, Georgia, region as they attempt to sustain and protect themselves not only against attacks by walkers but by other groups of survivors willing to use any means necessary to stay alive.
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Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel rally their communities into war against Negan and the Saviors. Losses are heavy on both sides and many of the Kingdom’s soldiers are killed. Alexandria falls to a Savior attack, and Carl is bitten by a walker.
Before euthanizing himself, Carl convinces Rick to end the war and restart society anew. Negan attempts to wipe out Rick and his allies in a final battle, but Eugene thwarts his plan by sabotaging the Saviors’ bullets. Rick then wounds Negan. Against Maggie’s wishes, Negan is spared and imprisoned, ending the war.