The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman seems to have just revealed the cause of the mysterious virus responsible for the zombie plague. Officially bringing an end to the original comic series just last year, Kirkman closed out the story without ever revealing the origins of the virus. The cause has also never been revealed on the television series, and there's never been an indication that this story will be explored on the show. Now, perhaps feeling there was little reason in keeping the secret to himself any longer, Kirkman has apparently offered a simple yet vague explanation.
"Space spore," Robert Kirkman said of the origins of the zombie virus when directly asked about it by a Walking Dead fan on Twitter. With his two-word response, Kirkman stops well short of explaining just how this deadly space spore turned most of the planet's population into the living dead, but the brief explanation is still much more than we've ever gotten from him before. Of course, there's a chance Kirkman is merely having fun with his fans by providing nothing more than a random answer to the question, meaning it's possible the "space spore" explanation could have been said in jest.
Still, it's also worth noting that in a 2018 Q&A session on Tumblr, Kirkman joked that he'd one day reveal the origins of the zombie virus with no fanfare, and this could in fact be what the comic book creator is up to here. "Maybe years after it's all over I'll just casually mention it in an interview. That seems like a very J.K. Rowling thing to do," Kirkman said of the idea. He goes on to explain how it wouldn't benefit the story, adding: "It couldn't be less important to the story and the lives of these characters. It would be completely out of place in the story. Honestly if a scientist from Washington came to the character and told them what happened the characters would just shrug and say 'Oh... okay...' it wouldn't change their lives at all... and... I've said too much."
The TV series could wind up surpassing the timeline of the Walking Dead comic book series, and it's always possible the show could venture into this territory that Kirkman felt was better left unexplored in the comics. However, the chances of that happening seem incredibly unlikely at this point. It would seem that the closest the characters came to finding out more about the virus came all the way back in the first season when they visited the CDC. After the facility was destroyed, there went any hope about finding a potential cause, or a cure, for the bizarre contagion.
At the end of the day, The Walking Dead has never been about the science behind the plague, but how relatable its characters are. Rick Grimes would not be able to develop a cure or provide any answers any better than any of us could in the same situation, and the story has always been about survival in a deadly world none of the characters know anything about. If you need an explanation, however, just go with Kirkman's "space spore" answer. This news comes to us from Robert Kirkman on Twitter.