The Awesome Reason That Walking Dead Zombie Looked So Familiar In The Season 8 Premiere

walking dead season premiere walker

The Walking Dead's Season 8 premiere offered fans lots of fun callbacks to the zombie drama's very first episode, as well as other moments from the series. Carl's trip to the gas station was the most elaborate of the bunch, as it recreated the bewildered Rick's first walk through the post-apocalypse, and if that in-the-distance walker at the end of the sequence looked familiar to you, that's because it was. The Walking Dead actually brought back Summer the Teddy Bear Walker, the very first zombie that Rick killed in the series premiere.

That's right. As part of the Episode 100 fun, The Walking Dead called upon one of its earliest walkers, which marks the very first time that the drama has done such a thing. Sure, there are quite a few extras that get used as different walkers, but the show has never before reused one of its zombies that was killed off by one of the survivors. (Or re-killed, as it were.) Check out actress Addy Miller then and now-ish, showing off that recognizable makeup job.

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While the bicycle walker may be the most memorable walker from The Walking Dead's first episode, Summer was arguably more important, as she represented Rick needing to accept that this was the lay of the land now. And she reappeared at another pivotal moment for Rick, just after he'd scared away that mysterious new character, as he was made to consider Carl's assertion that he shouldn't just instantly assume all outsiders are evil or dangerous. It was a fine moment in and of itself, but made all the more celebratory with the knowledge that it was once again Summer shambling around while Rick mulled things over.

And apparently everyone involved with bringing her back had to keep Abby Miller's involvement a secret from Andrew Lincoln, who has been known to let fun surprises like that slip out in interviews. Here's what Miller told the Huffington Post about it, saying they even tried keeping her presence hidden from veteran crew members.

I introduced myself to these brand new crew members like, 'Hi, I'm Lily,' The original people who've been there since Season 1, they obviously knew it was me, but we were all like, 'Shhh! Keep it a secret!' So I had to be in hiding the whole time.

Recent years have seen more and more people dedicating their time to leaking Walking Dead set details, so it's pretty awesome that such a fun callback like this not only remained a secret through the production, but also wasn't even immediately realized by everyone who watched. Here's hoping we do NOT get to see the return of the Well Walker anytime soon, though.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out the funniest moments from the Season 8 premiere, as well as why Rick didn't just kill Negan when he had the chance. And then head to our fall premiere schedule to see what else TV has to offer in the coming months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.