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Fear The Walking Dead Showrunners On That Shocking Walker Twist

Over the years, The Walking Dead universe has presented viewers with an abundance of creepy walkers. From the walker in the well way back in season 2 of The Walking Dead to season 7's spike zombie, the franchise loves to get creative with the undead, but the production team may have outdone themselves with Fear the Walking Dead's season 6 midseason finale.

For the first time ever, the franchise introduced taxidermy walkers, as created by a modern day Dr. Frankenstein known as Ed. Alicia and Charlie first encounter the augmented zombies as they approach an isolated cabin, and they are a gnarly looking bunch. They later find out that the cabin's inhabitant, Ed, made the walkers more fearsome by adding horns and other frightening enhancements in hopes of protecting his family. Instead of deterring strangers, one of his creations ended up killing his loved ones.

In an interview with TV Insider, Fear the Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg opened up about the inspiration behind the latest walker twist, sharing that the idea of taxidermy zombies has been knocking around the writers room for quite some time. "It was an idea we'd had for a while, and we were just kind of looking for the right character and episode to marry it to," said Chambliss.

Ed ended up being that character, and he has a creepy origin story that's all his own.

The Fear the Walking Dead showrunners gave the creator of the taxidermy walkers a meaningful name

During a post-show interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chambliss and Goldberg revealed that both the character of Ed and the taxidermy idea had been around for some time. Once they decided to combine the two in one episode, the show's macabre twist was born, and as an added bonus for horror fans, they named Ed after a real life serial killer. "We named the character Ed after Ed Gein, the real-life serial killer that inspired Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs, so that's just a little Easter egg," Goldberg said.

As for those nods to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, they were entirely intentional. Chambliss explained to EW that they wanted something unique to differentiate Ed's story from all of the other stories about people who hole up alone during the apocalypse. That's how they came about not only the taxidermy idea, but also the inspiration for Ed's creations to be responsible for the death of his loved ones.

"I think what we really liked about it thematically was for Ed's story, it was all about him inadvertently creating these monsters to protect the people he loved, which ultimately destroyed the people he loved," Chambliss said. "And thematically, that really fit in with what Virginia was doing to her sister and to all the people that she's got living in her communities."

And thus a new breed of walkers was born — one that will surely be haunting fans' dreams for years to come.