Zombie Survival? ‘The Walking Dead’ Norman Reedus & ‘Z Nation’ Keith Allan [Opinion]

While The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon is a zombie-killing machine with tremendous hunting skills and a powerful outdoor skill set, Keith Allan of Z Nation has more of a “zombies are not so bad” approach to survival. Of course, it helps that Keith’s character Murphy is immune and in some ways part zombie.

Norman Reedus and Keith Allan aren’t the only ones thinking about zombie apocalypse survival these days. For most of this century, zombie survival has gained a lot of real estate in the minds of, oddly enough, most people.

The Walking Dead and Z Nation would not have seemed at all plausible to those of a past generation, who perhaps farmed 40 acres with a mule, or traveled in a horse and carriage. Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, though, would have fit right into their daily lives. Adversity was common in those days, and they were prepared for whatever dangers they faced, perhaps better than modern-day survivalists.

Still, zombies somehow make sense in this century, in light of all that is happening. As journalist Robert Brockway revealed in this Cracked article, all his friends have a plan for zombie apocalypse survival.

“All the men (and most women) I know have one thing in common: They have a zombie contingency plan. If the zombies arise tomorrow, everybody has at least a hazy outline of what, exactly, they would do to survive the coming onslaught. It’s the single best part about the zombie mythos: planning your strategy.”

Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead, now in Season 7, did not start this zombie craze. Brockway’s article was actually written a year before The Walking Dead aired its first episode. Z Nation with Keith Allan as Murphy is a relative newcomer to the zombie scene but has shed new light on the topic.

Walking Dead Zombies and Norman Reedus

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, first published in 2003, hardly started the craze either but was rather a reaction to great demand. Max Brooks’ book may have been in the humor section, but millions including the author take the subject quite seriously.

The Walking Dead with Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, and Melissa McBride is reportedly the most watched show on television. But the point is that it is not The Walking Dead that brings zombies to the forefront of the human mind, but rather the human mind that craves knowledge about the potential threat of a zombie apocalypse.

So if Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead in all his muscular, masculine hotness isn’t inspiring the zombie apocalypse craze, then what is? What makes zombies so interesting in 2017?

Zombies like the ones on World War Z, Z Nation, and The Walking Dead are impossible, right? Well, look around for a moment. How many things that exist in the world today were impossible 200 years ago? How many were impossible 50 years ago or even 20 years ago? Who really knows what could or could not happen anymore?

Norman Reedus Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Andrew Lincoln

Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead gives us confidence in the face of a very uncertain and unpredictable world as his character also recalls the basics of nature, and of gaining food, clothing, and shelter without a cash-based system.

The Walking Dead or Z Nation zombie means something in the hearts and minds of millions of people. Zombies are in some way a balance or perhaps even some sort of archetypal karmic debt for the delights of technology, the comforts of mechanization, and all the excitement and wonder electricity brought mankind. Perhaps they are the symbol of what happens if all this fails.

Do shows like The Walking Dead and Z Nation prepare people for some sort of coming horror? Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon does uphold the basics of survival under any circumstances and reminds the viewer of the importance of being prepared for anything.

Zombie survivalists consider the factors of preparation with ample supplies, location preparation, and a way to change locations to one more advantageous if necessary. In a survival scenario, leaving cities is key, and so is having an ample supply of food, water, first aid supplies, medication, tools, and weapons according to All That Is Interesting.

Are Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Keith Allan as Murphy presenting survival strategies? Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon fights, while Keith Allan’s Murphy has adapted, both physically and mentally, to the zombie apocalypse and plague. In any situation, are those not the choices: resist or adapt?


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Norman Reedus’ character Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead is both physically fit and knowledgeable. Now — while one is at least relatively safe from whatever threat zombies represent — is a good time to get in shape and learn basic wilderness survival skills if one is worried about a potential apocalyptic situation.

Can The Walking Dead and Z Nation fans prepare for an uncertain future best by watching zombie apocalypse shows? Perhaps, if coupled with physical fitness, and an actual strategy for survival in the event of a variety of previously unknown scenarios.

Are Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead and Keith Allan of Z Nation good examples of zombie apocalypse survival skills?

[Featured Image by Ken Ishii Jessie Grant and Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images]