Despite their impressive ability to shoot walkers at a distance, it looks like "The Walking Dead" survivors will soon need a much smarter approach to surviving.
Tech Insider recently spoke with John Sanders, property master and weapons expert for the hit AMC show. As he told us, the survivors won't always be able to rely on firearms.
"As the story continues, we're going to see a lot more transfer to more melee weapons," Sanders explained. "Bullets are a finite instrument ... and we need to make sure that each character can only use use so many and that they're thinking about it."
Rather than continuing to have characters shoot their way out of every encounter, Sanders says the writers and the props team want to show audiences how the survivors will adapt as bullets become a dwindling resource.
"Bullets [will] start to become really valuable," he said. "And you certainly wouldn't just spray bullets at something if you're not hitting something. So, I expect we'll probably move more and more away from the machine guns."
Early indications of this shift were seen in the season three episode "Clear," when Rick, Michonne, and Carl visit a heavily fortified community where they encounter Morgan. Morgan protected himself using improvised spears, spikes and hidden pitfalls. The skewered enemies particularly were a clear nod to the Sanctuary, the Saviors's home base from the comics, first seen in Issue #104. Sanders explained that as time passes in the world of "The Walking Dead," survivors will have to be much less dependent on guns to defend themselves.
"You've got to start to regulate how many and when you use [guns]," he said. "You see the characters talk about needing to preserve ammo a number of times. So we start looking at the new weapons, which - you know we've seen the katana before, the stick from Morgan's character and we constantly get into the knife thing."
These "new weapons" will likely include the pre-emptive traps and spikes from the Sanctuary and "Clear," designed to keep walkers at bay without relying on noisy, resource-depleting firearms. They're gruesome, but these traps are actually very smart.
In season three's "Clear," Morgan placed a caged rat in the center of a trap, attracting a walker. The zombie, oblivious, was then impaled and stuck on the spike, serving as a protective measure from other humans.
We've seen walkers used in other clever ways. Twice now, Rick and his group have used walker guts to mask their scent and blend in with the dead. It doesn't strain resources and even provides camouflage.
It's the exact type of inventiveness that makes sense for people who have spent this much time living in an apocalyptic world.
Gene Page / AMC
"The Walking Dead" has been teasing an impending battle against the Saviors all season, possibly meaning we're close to seeing these new traps and resource driven survival tactics. But while these new weapons may help to protect against the mindless hordes of the dead shambling outside, it doesn't guarantee protection against another great threat in the hostile world of "The Walking Dead." Other survivors.