The Walking Dead returns October 12th for Season 5 and the fans of the zombie apocalypse drama can’t wait. They have been waiting anxiously since the end of Season 4 for the return of the characters that they love but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy. While they have been waiting for the stars to finish filming Season 5 they have been active on social media, creating fan art, and connecting with other members of The Walking Dead Family.
Many popular shows have legions of fans, but it’s fitting that the most popular show in cable TV history has one of the largest fanbases of any show. On social media they call themselves TWD Family and anyone who loves The Walking Dead and the stars of the show are immediately welcomed. What started as a loose collaboration of fans on social media has become a bona fide part of the mythos of the show. Producer Gale Ann Hurd and other members of the creative team behind the show as well as the stars have mentioned The Walking Dead Family of fans and how dedicated they are to the show and the stars. Members of The Walking Dead Family come from all over the world to visit The Woodbury Shoppe, which is the official store where fans can buy Walking Dead merchandise and see props from the show, which is located in Senoia, GA where the show production is based.
During the hiatus months many fans plan trips to Georgia to participate in one of the many different tours of the show’s filming locations. The influx of the fans, who always come with money to spend, has been a great boost to many of the little towns in the areas of rural Georgia where the show films. Even though some residents think the filming is a hassle and disruptive to their small town way of life many residents love the jobs and tourist dollars that the show has brought to the area. In Grantville, GA the tours of filming locations in the town are led by the town mayor and include a stop at Morgan’s apartment. Morgan’s apartment was featured in the “Clear” episode of Season 3 when Rick, Michonne and Carl go in search of weapons and find Morgan holed up in an upper level apartment. The apartment has been left the way it was for filming, so fans can tour the apartment and take photos inside Morgan’s apartment.
Fans also are showing up at filming locations in ever increasing numbers. While the filming sites are becoming more and more restricted because of some groups of fans posting spoiler photos on social media fans are welcome to wait outside the filming locations as long as they are not a nuisance. Often members of the cast will come out during or after filming to sign autographs and take pictures as a way to say thank you to the fans. The cast member who appears most often is fan favorite Norman Reedus, who is just as devoted to his fans as they are to him.
During the hiatus season fans also keep busy by creating their own Walking Dead fan art. The cast receives thousands of gifts of fan art in the mail every year, and some of the fan art is features in a new book put out by Norman Reedus. Even when the show is not on the fans of The Walking Dead are actively involved with the show waiting for the new season.
Now that the new season is about to premier social media is reaching a fever pitch of fans exchanging information, photos, and general excitement. Premier parties will be taking place in restaurants and bars all over the filming areas in GA as well in the homes of many fans. Social media is exploding with Walking Dead party theme ideas, recipes, and other information. So far the season premiere of The Walking Dead has broken its own record each year and it seems likely that the Season 5 premier will set a new record for viewership. It may even break Twitter as TWD Family watches the premier together live tweeting the entire show.