A new poster for The Walking Dead season 9 offers a first look at Samantha Morton as Alpha, the leader of the mysterious Whisperers. First introduced in the TWD comic books in issue #130, the Whisperers are a group of marauders who don the skins of the dead in order to move among the zombie herds undetected. Ultimately, The Whisperers prove to be the most formidable foe yet for Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors.
After years of anticipation by fans, The Whisperers finally arrived in TV form in the final episodes of The Walking Dead season 9's first half. Indeed, the group has already had a tragic encounter with their new enemies, as fan favorite Jesus was felled by one of the Whisperers during an epic fight in a spooky graveyard during the season 9A finale. The second half of season 9 will see the arrival of even more Whisperers, including the group's leader Alpha, played by Oscar-nominated actress Morton.
Ahead of the long-awaited arrival of Alpha and the rest of her Whisperers cohorts, AMC and The Walking Dead have debuted a new poster giving a first look at Samantha Morton's villainous character. In the image, Alpha is wearing a mask fashioned from the face of a dead person while menacingly telling everyone to be quiet. Indeed, we've already learned that remaining as silent as possible is one of the keys to the Whisperers' success as they roam about the post-apocalyptic world surrounded by hoards of walkers. See the image below:
In the comics, Alpha ultimately removes her mask to reveal a bald head, giving her a distinctive and iconic look. Though the character has not officially appeared on the TV show yet, she was apparently teased in a recent season 9 trailer, and indeed the character has a bald head like in the comics. In addition to Alpha, the second half of season 9 will also see the arrival of Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Alpha's daughter, as well as her second-in-command Beta (Ryan Hurst). The comic book story of The Whisperers sees the main characters going to war against the newly arrived enemies, but also features a love story between Carl Grimes and Lydia. Obviously, the TV show will have to make major changes to the comic book storyline, as Carl is dead and Rick Grimes is departed, and Jesus has already been killed off (in the comics he is a major part of The Whisperers storyline and in fact ultimately kills Beta).
In addition to the arrival of The Whisperers, season 9 of The Walking Dead has also featured many other earth-shattering developments, foremost among them of course being the departure of Rick. The second half of season 9 should prove to be very intriguing thanks to several other developments like Negan breaking out of prison. The show will also presumably address the mysterious X scars that have been glimpsed on Michonne and Daryl, scars they apparently received during some kind of terrible event that took place during the six years that were jumped over by the story after Rick's departure.
The Walking Dead season 9 returns Sunday February 10th at 9pm ET on AMC.