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The Stephen King Reference You Missed In The Walking Dead

AMC's TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" took a popular comic book about survivors in a zombie apocalypse and exploded it into a pop culture phenomenon. Zombie-related media was already a hot property by the time "The Walking Dead" premiered, but it's arguable that the series put a fresh bloody spin on the tired-but-true genre. Not only has the series shambled itself towards a final 11th season, but "The Walking Dead" has spawned several spin-offs. So while the main series may end up bidding farewell, there's still plenty of undead action and human drama on the horizon.

From shockingly killing off fan-favorite characters in nightmarish manners to jaw-dropping betrayals happening regularly, "The Walking Dead" can pride itself as being a series that loves to include major plot twists. It is also a series that is worth a re-watch due to the staggering number of references and Easter eggs. While some are more obvious than others, some fans might have missed out on a neat reference to acclaimed horror author Stephen King, which occurred at the very beginning of the series.

It all begins in King County

Frank Darabont, who served as "The Walking Dead" showrunner for the first couple of seasons, is no stranger to the writing of Stephen King. Being introduced to his work with the novel "The Shining," Darabont eventually went from fan to collaborator, adapting several of King's books to the big screen, such as "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" (via Deadline). So, it probably came as little surprise that with a horror-themed series like "The Walking Dead," Darabont would seemingly slip in a reference to pay tribute to arguably one of the leaders of horror literature by giving him his own county. That's right: eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that "The Walking Dead" TV series starts off in King County, Georgia.

Yet, if situations had played a bit differently, King could have found himself even more directly linked to the AMC series. In 2011, there was initially talk about King penning an episode of the series with his son Joe Hill. However, via ComicBook.Com, this collaboration likely got nixed thanks to the controversial departure of Darabont. To add even more salt to an infected wound, King announced through his site that he would write an episode of the series for its sixth season. However, when fans clicked on a link for more information, they soon found the author was only playing a cruel April Fools joke. It turns out, besides scaring the holy heck out of his audience, King also enjoys a good ol' fashioned Rick Roll.