What Are Variant Walkers in The Walking Dead?
Most walkers follow more-or-less the same set of rules in The Walking Dead. As such, chances are good interested individuals can guess “variant walker” is just a term for walkers that deviate from these rules. The rules of drama mean the franchise focuses on variant walkers with differences that make them more dangerous rather than less dangerous to the surviving humans. So far, that means smarter, stronger zombies. However, the mere existence of variant walkers opens the metaphorical door for other possibilities. As cool of a plot as this is, I decided to write a blog post about it! So let’s dive in, what are variant Walkers in the Walking Dead and how powerful are they?
The Power of Variant Walkers
There has been a recent surge of interest in variant walkers because of Season 11 of The Walking Dead. Still, interested individuals should remember that they have existed as far back as Season 1 of The Walking Dead. For example, there were the variant walkers that could scale walls. Similarly, there was the variant walker that could use a rock to smash a store window. Elsewhere, there has even been an example of a variant walker that killed a wild dog before leaving the corpse for its fellow walkers, which was a disturbing show of altruism.
Why Are Variant Walkers Such a Huge Threat in The Walking Dead?
Variant walkers are a clear threat to the surviving humans for a couple of main reasons. First, walkers are already dangerous when they have either no or next-to-no capability for higher thinking. They become much more so when they are problem-solving tool users, particularly since they are still capable of coordinating with their less capable counterparts. Interested individuals have already seen a variant walker that climbed a wall before unlocking the gate, thus enabling other walkers to come pouring in.
Second, variant walkers are different enough that the surviving humans can’t count on their hard-earned anti-walker expertise and experience to work against them. Even worse, if the surviving humans assume that every walker works like standard walkers, that could lull them into a false sense of complacency. People are not good at dealing with surprises, particularly when they are already in a tense, dangerous situation. As a result, it isn’t hard to see how being surprised by variant walkers could lead to fatal mistakes.
Some of their abilities include fast crawling, climbing fences and walls, and scaring the living heck out of Maggie and Negan in the Dead City series!
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