Walking Dead’s Name for the Zombie Apocalypse Calls Out Modern Society

In the future, society is already starting to forget the lessons they learned and it’s nickname for the darkest days of The Walking Dead may show why.

In a series full of commentary on society and the human condition, the name for the tumultuous period of time covered in The Walking Dead may be the series’ harshest critique.

When Rick Grimes woke up in an apocalyptic nightmare world, he could not have imagined the darkness he was about to be exposed to. Aside from the threat of the walkers, Grimes and his coterie of survivors confront monsters of a different stripe. The almost inhuman nature of The Walking Dead’s most notable antagonists served to critique the worst aspects of humanity. The awful period of time mostly served as a meditation on mankind’s capacity for cruelty, and the resilience of the main characters speaks to the primal urge to survive at no matter the cost. The Walking Dead is rife with social commentary right from the beginning and it stays that way up until the very end.

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Readers get a glimpse of what the future holds for the world in the final issue of The Walking Dead # 193 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn. While a grown Carl Grimes remains haunted by the events of the “Trials”, aka the years after the initial outbreak, everyone else appears to be moving on with their lives. The walkers have yet to be extinguished, but safety protocols have kept their threat at bay for years. It’s clear that for most people, the terrible zombie apocalypse is over, even though Carl still implores that it’s actually still going on. The difference in opinions is shown when Grimes is confronted by a gang of youths who make fun of his eyepatch di lui before one mentions that Carl lost it during the Trials. Unfazed, the kids move on while Sophia mentions that it won’t be long until people truly forget the dark days that came before.



Walking Dead Carl The Trials Image Comics

Throughout T.he Walking Dead’s final issue time-jump, Carl is seen by others as being stuck in the past, while Carl expresses frustration that people are becoming complacent with the peace they now have. From the get-go, The Walking Dead is set up to critique a society that has been sleepwalking through life. Unfortunately with a bit of security and time, Carl is starting to see humanity fall back into its old patterns. The Trials nickname is probably the best and most horrific example of Carl’s fears by him. The word “trial” implies that what Carl and his family and friends di lui went through was a test, when the outbreak for the initial survivors was actually a complete cessation of the world they knew. They fought and scrapped to restart civilization from the brink of extinction, and while they found a comfortable groove, the presence of the walkers show that the world is still not back to normal. But younger generations are being born into a world much safer than the dark days Carl knew. For them, it was a trial that older generations went through, but those growing up in more secure days just don’t see it as a big deal.


Humanity tends to quickly forget the lessons it learns and unfortunately for Carl, he sees society forget its worst upheaval in real-time. The “Trials” might just be the most appropriate name The Walking Dead could have used to illustrate society’s short attention span.

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