ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"The Walking Dead" and "The Stand"

Updated on June 5, 2013
The Stand
The Stand | Source
Source
Source

Set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse The Walking Dead, is the story of a few human survivors and their struggle to exist in a world populated by flesh eating zombies and other evil survivors. The show is well written, well acted and gory. (it seems like every week they try to kill zombies in a more imaginative fashion than the week before). On it’s surface, the show is quite entertaining. But looking into it a little deeper reveals it is a remarkable story about human interactions in desperate situations. But when I saw the first episode on DVD last spring I thought it reminded me of one of my favorite novels, The Stand by Stephen King. And nothing has happened in the last 2 ½ seasons to sway me from that opinion.

King released this classic horror/fantasy novel, in 1978. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where 99.4% of the population has died of a superflu. Small bands of survivors struggle to fight for their very existence in a world where society has completely broken down.

The Walking Dead is based on a series of grahic novels and mines much of the same territory as The Stand. A virus has killed most of the population and turned it’s victims into zombies. Like The Stand, the survivors are forced to live and survive in a post apocalyptic world. But unlike King’s novel, the survivors are still in danger from the hoards of zombies which inhabit the abandoned towns, farmland and woods.


Artist Michael Whelan's depiction of Randall Flagg
Artist Michael Whelan's depiction of Randall Flagg | Source
Actor David Morrissey as ":The Governor"
Actor David Morrissey as ":The Governor" | Source

In The Stand, a band of survivors settle in Boulder, CO and attempt to set up a democratic society in “the Free Zone” while another group of survivors has settled in Las Vegas, NV. They are led by the demonic Randell Flagg. The two settlements live in a state of uneasy cold war for a time until a battle between good and evil is fought. The good people win, but not after paying a terrible price.

The Walking Dead just ended it's third season. One group is holed up in an abandoned prison, while a few miles away another group has sought refuge in the walled off town of Woodbury. They are led by The Governor, a Randall Flagg like character, who is training his people for a showdown with the occupants of the prison. Both sides are so paranoid of each other. Without revealing the ending, I can say that both groups suffer devasting losses, although it is worse for one side.


But what I find really fascinating about both stories is the way that people react when the society that they knew and were so comfortable in has been forever taken away from them. One of the ongoing themes in both stories involves the question: How does one survive in such a difficult world while maintaining humanity?

It is interesting to look at the groups of survivors and how they have come together. Both the Boulder, CO group in The Stand and Rick Grime’s group in The Walking Dead fight to maintain a semblance of humanity, civilization and sanity which exists in stark contrast to the atrocities they must commit to merely survive. And at the core, the 2 groups are very democratic in the most basic way. Although there are no formal governments in both King's novel and the AMC series, the groups next moves and strategies are debated by the entire group (although as the population of the “Free Zone” rises, a rudimentary representative government is formed).

In sharp contrast, both Randall Flagg’s, Las Vegas and the Governor’s Woodbury exist as societies which are ruled with an iron fist by one very tyrannical dictator. All major decisions are made by one person who is willing to sacrifice his “followers” for his own glory. Flagg rules Las Vegas by torture and crucifixion, while the Governor’s rule of Woodbury is more subtle but no less effective. While it is obvious that the climax of The Stand is a battle between “good and evil”, the same can be said about the coming clash between both sides in The Walking Dead.


********

While the predicaments of the characters in The Stand and The Walking Dead are caused by horrific yet implausible events, history is full of people who have left the society they knew to settle into the unknown. The early settlers of this country left England and elsewhere to form settlements in the wilderness of the New World. They battled the harsh winters and hostile Native Americans. Many did not survive. Later after this country was established, many American’s left the comfortable East Coast to settle in the wilds of the West. More recently, refugee Jews from Europe settled in the Mid East desert between Egypt and Jordan to form Israel.

The idea of a post apocalyptic world where the survivors struggle and fight to make a life for themselves in a world that is devoid of any kind of society or civilization makes for good stories. Add evil and sympathetic characters, throw in plenty of conflict and that makes for the type of novel that we will stay up late to finish or the series that has us counting the days until the next episode.


Facts about The Walking Dead, The Stand and Stephen King

  • Before the apocolypse in the The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes was a Sheriff's Deputy in the fictitious King County, GA. The county was named in homage to the great writer.
  • In his column in Entertainment Weekly, last December, Stephen King named The Walking Dead as one of the best shows of 2012.
  • The Stand was originally viewed by King as a Lord of the Rings type, epic, in an American setting.
  • The developer of The Walking Dead was Frank Darabont. He produced the film The Mist based on a Stephen King novella. The film starred several actors who would later appear in The Walking Dead: Laurie Holden,(Andrea) Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale), Melissa McBride (Carol), and Juan Gabriel Pareja (Morales). Daramont also produced The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, both based on stories by King
  • While the look of the Zombies can be repulsive, the makeup artists are the best in the industry. Using common items like uncooked oatmeal, jello, liqiud latex and dirt they can make a person look like a rotting zombie

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mary jane 

      4 months ago

      I just finished reading The Stand and could not help but notice the similarities between my favorite show, The Walking dead and The Stand. Must certainly have been an inspiration for the comic book/then series.

    • billd01603 profile imageAUTHOR

      billd01603 

      3 years ago from Worcester

      Thanks for reading nmhusa. In fact, the "Walking Dead" refers to both the zombies as well as the survivors.

    • profile image

      nmhusa 

      3 years ago

      Great article. Was surprised that you didn't mention that the term "walking dead" was used in The Stand when Larry was considering leaving New York through the tunnel filed with cars. Prior to the tv show I had never heard the term used in reference to zombies or reanimated beings.

    • billd01603 profile imageAUTHOR

      billd01603 

      5 years ago from Worcester

      Thanks for reading Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 

      5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I have never watched that show, although I have heard good things of it. But I love Stephen King!

      That was a very interesting comparison, and I enjoyed reading about the facts, and your opinons. It also makes me want to buy King's book!

    • billd01603 profile imageAUTHOR

      billd01603 

      5 years ago from Worcester

      Hey thanks for reading mercuryserices

    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 

      5 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Never thought about it, but the Stand and the Walking Dead actually do have a lot in common. The Governor (as played in the TV show) and Randal Flagg have a lot in common. In the comic book, the governor is completely different. Check it out if you haven't already

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)