During production of season eight, stuntman John Bernecker fell 22 feet from a balcony onto the concrete floor, missing the crash pad by inches. He was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center and pronounced dead soon after. Episode 8.1 is dedicated to his memory.
In an interview Robert Kirkman claimed Norman Reedus (Daryl) originally auditioned for the part of Merle Dixon. He was rejected, but his audition so intrigued the producers that they created the part of Daryl just for him.
In an interview on National Public Radio, Steven Yeun said that his parents, who emigrated from South Korea as adults, watch the show faithfully, but do not always understand the English dialogue, so they get a bootlegged version with Korean subtitles. Yeun also said that his father once asked him to thank Melissa McBride for saving his life. Even though Yeun reminded his father that it was all make-believe, Mr. Yeun insisted that his son should thank her, which he did.
Creator Robert Kirkman addressed the beginning of this and the comic series as being strongly similar to that of 28 Days Later... (2002). According to him, it was "a complete coincidence. I saw '28 Days Later' shortly before the first issue of Walking Dead was released. That first issue came out in October of 2003 and 28 Days Later was released in the States in June of 2003. So we were working on our second issue by the time I saw it. It was going to be a matter of somehow trying to restage the entire first issue, because it was a very similar coma opening. I made a decision-which I pretty much regret at this point-I said, 'You know what? It's so different (from that point on), I will probably never hear anything about this.' And I was wrong."
When Frank Darabont was in discussion with HBO about taking the series, Thomas Jane was attached to play Rick Grimes. The negotiations fell through, and when the series was eventually greenlit by AMC, Jane was unable to appear due to working on Hung (2009).
During filming of Season 6, Alanna Masterson (Tara) was pregnant with her first child, a girl, who was born on November 5, 2015. Viewers will be able to spot some subtle cover-ups during full-length shots.
In November 2018 Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol) both signed new three-year franchise-spanning deals that ensure they will be paid even if their characters are written off, moved to an offshoot or a spinoff. Reedus will earn $350,000 per episode, with guarantees and advances, worth anywhere from $50-$90 million overall. McBride also received a "big pay bump" estimated at $20 million over the course of the new contract.
Because of Eugene Porter's actions in season seven, actor Josh McDermitt received a large number of death threats and unpleasant messages through social medias. As a result of this, McDermitt deleted every single social media account in late April 2017, and has up until mid June not activated it again. McDermitt said in an interview, that he isn't sure whether or not he will return to social media, only that it depends on how the story on the show progresses.
According to Norman Reedus, he accidentally incited a small panic among the show's fans when a photo surfaced of him sporting a prosthetic dismembered stomach. This photo is not of Reedus' character of Daryl Dixon, but rather his character in Pandorum (2009).
Originally, the characters of Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kenedy) were going to be cast as different-gendered twins, with Mika being a boy named Mike. However, after Kyla Kenedy's audition via Skype, they scrapped the idea so they could cast her.
Deanna, the leader of Alexandria, has the biggest character change from the comics. The leader in the comics is actually a man named Douglas. Deanna's husband, Reg, is named Regina in the comic, and is Douglas' wife.
In an online interview it was revealed that Frank Darabont envisioned having several self-contained episodes that would not continue the main story. One such episode would have been the Season 2 premiere. It would have involved Sam Witwer (who Darabont used in The Mist (2007) and played the tank zombie in the series premiere) as a soldier in a Black Hawk Down (2001)-styled Atlanta. Witwer's character would have encountered several of the cast before being bitten and locking himself in the tank.
Between Seasons 1 and 5, Carl Grimes has only aged twice, from age 12 to 14. However, Chandler Riggs will be 18 years old when Season 8 progresses. This means there could be some sort of time jump (seen in the graphic novels) to ensure that the actor isn't too old for his role.
Sonequa Martin-Green originally auditioned for the role of Michonne. While she was unsuccessful, producers liked her audition so much, that they created the role of Sasha Williams for her (the character does not appear in the comics).
The season 9 premiere episode was seen by 6.1 million viewers - down 47 percent from the season 8 return, which was seen by more than 11 million people. Among adults 18-49, the show was down 51 percent. This was the smallest Nielsen audience for TWD since the show's first six-episode season back in 2010.
In Season 3, the beginning of the first and last episodes have the same camera sequence. The Walking Dead: Seed (2012) begins with a close-up shot of a walker's eye, with the camera slowly zooming out, while The Walking Dead: Welcome to the Tombs (2013) begins with a close-up shot of The Governor's eye, with the camera slowly zooming out.
Christian Serratos (Rosita Espinosa) has the most appearances out of all the series regular cast for season seven, featuring in eleven out of sixteen episodes. Xander Berkeley (Gregory) had the fewest, appearing in only five episodes.
The trailers for the show released at Comic Con over the years, has always been popular around the world. However, the trailer for season 8 released in July 2017, broke several records. Four days after it's release, the trailer had been watched over 31 million times, beating all other trailers released at Comic Con 2017 with the same time frame. It also beat the highly anticipated 7th season of the show, that had 25 million views in it's first four days.
In the comics Magna (Nadia Hilker) has a pistol that she wears in a drop leg holster. Prop master Gillian Albinski wanted to echo that look with Magna's knives, so she carries them in a sheath on her leg.
As of Season 8, five of the sixteen premiere/finale episodes have "Day(s)" in the title: "Days Gone Bye" (Season 1 Premiere), "30 Days Without An Accident" (Season 4 Premiere), "Last Day on Earth" (Season 6 Finale), "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" (Season 7 Premiere) and "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" (Season 7 Finale).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the show, Michonne hates The Governor (David Morrissey) based on a hunch, and he only loses an eye. However, in the graphic novels he brutally rapes her for days, leading to the loss of his eye, arm and testicle when she gets her revenge.
In the Season 2 premiere, The Walking Dead: What Lies Ahead (2011), Rick is on a rooftop in Atlanta, talking to Morgan Jones on a walkie-talkie. In the background, Grady Memorial Hospital (which is featured in Season 5) is clearly visible.
Dale had not originally been scheduled to die as early as he did in the show. However, after his close friend Frank Darabont was fired as producer, DeMunn asked to be killed off. Later he had a change of heart, but his death had already been scripted and budgeted for, so his request to continue on the series was denied.
The Season 6 opener, The Walking Dead: First Time Again (2015), features a scene in which Rick (Andrew Lincoln) asks Morgan (Lennie James) who taught him to fight with a staff, and Morgan remains silent. In response, Rick says, "I ask, you answer. Common courtesy, isn't it?" This is a reference to the series premiere, where the roles were reversed, as Morgan is questioning Rick about his wound.
In the comics, during The Governor's prison attack Judith is killed after Lori is shot, and falls on top of her. The writers used this to worry comic book fans when Judith's carrier was filled with blood in Season 4, Episode 8.
In the Season 5 premiere, The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary (2014), when the Terminites were slicing throats, the main cast members were not told about the prosthetic necks and fake blood that would ooze through the throat in front of them. So their reactions at having their "throats" cut were real.
The set used in the construction site scene, where Abe is collecting materials for Alexandria, is actually the prison set, after being stripped down. You can see this by looking at the building behind them. It has burn marks from the Governor's attack.
The coat that Rick wears in the last episodes of Season 4, and most of Seasons 5 and 6, belongs to "Claimer Lou", the man he strangled in the bathroom at the house, in which he, Carl and Michonne were staying, after the prison.
A few seconds after the Season 5 mid-season finale, The Walking Dead: Coda (2014), ended, AMC's Facebook page mistakenly shared a picture of Daryl carrying Beth's corpse, with the caption "R.I.P. Beth". It was badly received by people who had not watched the episode yet in the West Coast, Europe and South America.
At the beginning of Season 1, Episode 5, The Walking Dead: Wildfire (2010), Edwin Jenner mentions in his live video recording, that it has been 196 days since "wildfire" (when the disease got out of control, but not yet global). This episode is on the fourth day after Rick wakes from his coma. If there is no mention or signs of a "disease" at the time of Rick's nearly fatal shooting (first episode), this suggests he could've been comatose for over six months.
At the end of Season 4, Episode 8, The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone (2013), the last words are "Don't look back, Carl. Just keep walking." Andrew Lincoln insisted that the whole phrase was left in, so the final word was "walking".
On November 10, 2015, it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan had been cast as the well known villain, Negan. Negan was scheduled to make his first appearance in the Season 6 finale, The Walking Dead: Last Day on Earth (2016), which was scheduled to air on April 3, 2016.
Beth's death, in the Season 5 mid-season finale, caused an uproar on social media, with fans sending hate mail and death threats to Scott M. Gimple, along with boxes of plastic spoons being sent to AMC (a reference to the silver Washington, D.C. spoon Beth found). A Change.org petition titled "Bring Beth Back" was also created, and had collected over 135,000 signatures and was even discussed on Good Morning America (1975).
In the comic, Lori and Shane's affair was only a one-night stand instead of a regular occurrence and is revealed in Issue Five, while in the show it's revealed in the second episode, The Walking Dead: Guts (2010).
In the comics, all members of the Grimes family were shot. Rick during the shootout at the beginning of Season 1, Episode 1 (which led to his coma), in the stomach in the prison and in his hip in the season 7 finale; Carl in the shoulder and eye; and Lori, which killed her.
Baseball bats have been featured more throughout Season 5, possibly to foreshadow a death like Glenn's comic book death, though with a different character. Creator Robert Kirkman debunked any predictions about Glenn dying in this way during an "@midnight" segment called "Fake Spoilers". Ultimately, these predictions ended up coming true anyway, with Glenn's death exactly mirroring the graphic novel.
After Scott Wilson (I) (Hershel) died on October 6, 2018, the show's producers announced that his character would be returning in some capacity (possibly a flashback) in Season 9, in scenes he had filmed before his death at age 76. This character of Hershel had been killed off during Season 4.
Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan cameo as husband and wife, Thomas and Martha Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). This is ironic, however, because Morgan's character, Negan, kills Cohan's character, Maggie's husband, Glenn in the comics, and the television series. Both also portrayed characters on Supernatural (2005), with Morgan notably playing Sam and Dean's father, John Winchester. Lauren Cohan played the antagonist Bela.
Many deaths on the show, and in the comic are similar, albeit with different characters. In the comic, it is Carl who shoots and kills Shane and Rick who kills the walker Shane. On the show, Rick stabs Shane and Carl shoots the undead Shane. Dale's fate is shared with Herschel and Bob. In the book, Dale loses a leg to a walker and The Hunters. In the comic book, it is Tyreese who is beheaded by the Governor, in the show it's Herschel. On the show, Tyreese is bitten on the arm, and it is chopped off by Michonne; in the comic book, it is Morgan Jones.
Lori has sexual relations with both Shane and Rick within a 24-hour period, and it is implied that it was her first time with Shane (she removed her necklace with Rick's wedding ring). This could make Shane or Rick Judith's biological father. Towards the end of Season 1, in the CDC, Shane says to Lori, "You know, you and I carried on quite a bit", implying what we saw wasn't the only time they had been together. In Season 7 Rick points out to Michonne that he knows Judith is Shane's daughter.
The church structure that plays a prominent role during the first half of season five, was not a real church. It was built from the ground up, and then aged to look appropriately worn and real. In the DVD extras, it is explained that they decided they had to build a new structure, instead of filming in a practical church location, because they knew from before the season started, that the brutal and bloody events in "Four Walls and a Roof" would have to be filmed there, and they were quite certain that no actual church would allow for those actions to be simulated on their grounds. By contrast, the town of Alexandria (which plays a similarly prominent role in the second half of season five) is not only a real community (Senoia, Georgia), but the development, in which the show is filmed, has a codicil in its charter, that its residents have to allow movies and television shows to be filmed there.
Following Episode 9.5, The Walking Dead: What Comes After (2018), Scott M. Gimple revealed a spin-off movie would be made. Andrew Lincoln will reprise his role of Rick Grimes and it will center around his encounter with the helicopter group who rescued him in the closing moments of his final episode of the television series. The first film in the planned trilogy, to premiere on AMC, will explore the "vast mythology" behind the community trading for "A" and "B" people and will be told from Rick's point of view.
In the comics, Morgan Jones dies in the Alexandria Safe Zone when a herd of walkers breaks down the walls and attacks survivors. This attack is foreshadowed in the Season 5 finale, The Walking Dead: Conquer (2015), where Morgan saves Daryl and Aaron from a mob of walkers coming out of cargo trucks. Later in the episode the wolves are seen leading the same walkers back into the trucks.
When Bob, Tyreese, Daryl and Michonne hear the Terminus broadcast message from the radio, it was eight days before Bob would make his way there and nine days before Daryl and Michonne would. Tyreese does not enter Terminus.
Basically, when recurring cast members are promoted to series regulars, their names are added after the original series regulars in the opening credits. However, this is is not the case of Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan, who are credited before Chandler Riggs who had been a regular since the first season, up until his departure in season 8.
Scott Wilson, who played Hershel Greene, appeared in the television movie The Jack Bull (1999) as a character called "Governor." Coincidentally, he gets killed by The Governor (David Morrissey) in this show. Wilson also played a Governor in Young Guns II (1990), the role of the real-life Governor Lew Wallace, who promised to pardon Billy the Kid.
When Andrea shoots herself with Rick's revolver, you hear the empty brass casing hit the ground. But revolvers do not automatically eject the casing. However, this is a goof, and not a point of trivia.
At the end of the pilot episode, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye (2010), when Rick is in Atlanta, the tank in which he locks himself to get away from the walkers is a British Chieftain Mark 11 and not an American M1 Abrams, as would be assumed.
As of 2019, the Ninth Season features the most departures of Series Regular cast members as seven main characters left the show. These were Xander Berkeley (Gregory) who was killed off in the pilot, Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Lauren Cohan (Maggie) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Anne) who left the show followed the fifth episode, Tom Payne (Jesus) who was killed off in the eighth episode, and finally Alanna Masterson (Tara) and Katelyn Nacon (Enid) who were killed off in the fifteenth episode.
In the comics, Rick's right hand is chopped off by the Governer when he refuses to reveal the location of the prison, this never happens in the show but instead of Rick it is Merle who loses a right hand.
All of Carol's children are played by actual siblings. Sophia, who turns and is shot by Rick is played by Madison Lintz. Younger Henry is played by Macsen Lintz, and older Henry is played by Matt Lintz.