The season finale of The Walking Dead wrapped up some major storylines and opened the door for a lot of news ones — but did it also sneakily introduce the next big comic baddie?
In the middle of The Walking Dead's eighth season, actress Pollyanna McIntosh debunked a fan theory that Jadis would become the antagonist known as Alpha who, in the comics, leads an antagonistic group of survivors called the Whisperers, who wear the skins of dispatched Walkers so as to blend in with them. They also don't speak louder than a whisper in order to keep up the ruse and not be bitten and/or eaten.
The Alpha rumor persisted since McIntosh was cast in the role, and it seemed even more likely when Simon (Steven Ogg) decided to slaughter all of the Scavengers at the junkyard. Nevertheless, the theory has reared its head once more thanks to last night's Season 8 finale.
The final episode, "Wrath," featured an epic battle between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). While the two characters did not end up dying, Rick and his crew of survivors were able to finally overthrow Negan and the Saviors. Moreover, some sources claim the season finale may have hinted at the introduction of the Whisperers, especially since Rick and the rest no longer have a main antagonist to fight against in Season 9.
According to The Wrap, an early reference to the Whisperers might be the massive horde of Walkers that Rick spots during the final fight. He states that things are changing in the world, meaning that they might soon be encountering a group of villains who hide out among the zombies. Another idea is that Rick stumbles into the group's border, because we see a collection of fence posts on the way to the fight with Negan. In the comics, the Whisperers used fence-based markers to signify their territory. They even went so far as to off the heads of normal humans and stick them on pikes to warn off potential intruders.
All in all, the conjecture isn't super strong at this point, and even those who hypothesize about the introduction of the group are wary, as a major part of their comic storyline involved Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), who died earlier in Season 8 after being bitten. The Whisperers became the main bad guys in the comic book storylines of "A New Beginning" in Volume 22 to "The Whisperer War" in Volume 27. Carl helped bridge a gap between the two collections of humans when he began a relationship with Alpha's daughter, Lydia. However, the Whisperers largely collapsed after the deaths of their two main leaders, Alpha and Beta.
Give us your best theories in the comments below and let us know how you think the series will tackle the Whisperers.