The group of survivors that remain on The Walking Dead are a squad of seriously intimidating and skilled fighters who have come up against nearly anything they could imagine over the course of ten seasons and have ultimately come out as the victors in every conflict that they've faced. Yet, after so long living in the zombie apocalypse, it seems like they have finally once again come across something that they never predicted would happen or could have expected to find.
The Whisperers are the latest and greatest threats to everyone's survival on The Walking Dead, and this enemy is a unique and terrifying threat to their existence. These people have abandoned everything that is recognizable about normal human life, and have instead chosen to live a bizarre, survival of the fittest life among the walkers that cause so many people so much fear. Here are 10 things that you need to know about the Whisperers.
10 They Model Their Hierarchy After Wolves
Although the entirety of Whisperer society seems to revolve around the walking dead and their relationship with them, the hierarchy that exists within the living members of the group seems to be entirely modeled after a wolf pack. Obviously, the woman known as Alpha is seen as the alpha wolf of the pack, and her right-hand man, Beta, is her second in command.
But it also seems like the whisperers have only incorporated the most brutal elements of a wolf pack societal structure into their own society because, unlike real wolves, they seem to solely believe in survival of the fittest and don't care to look out for one another as a real pack would.
9 Their Society Originated With Alpha And Beta
As of now the entire group of Whisperers appears to consist of dozens, if not hundreds, of living people, but the entire idea of their group originated with Alpha and Beta. Alpha and Beta ran into each other by happenstance, but, after viewing each other from afar for only a day or two, they both came to realize that their perspectives on the world might match up.
Or at the very least, they both realized that they enjoyed hunting together, so why not continue that beneficial relationship for as long as it might go? It was only over time that they found more people to join them.
8 Beta And Alpha May Not Know Each Other's Names
To call what Alpha and Beta share between themselves a friendship seems to be a misnomer because, honestly, they don't seem like people who are even capable of real, normal human interactions and relationships. But, when they initially met while both hiding out in the same hospital, they forewent the standard human introductions.
Alpha initially refers to Beta as "B," and then jokingly says that she must be "A" then. Clearly that is the origin of the whole Alpha and Beta thing, but, if Alpha and Beta have even ever shared their real given names with one another before, then the show hasn't let the audience know.
7 Walkers Are More Than Just Walkers
The vast majority of living people left in the world look at zombies as a danger, or at least a nuisance, that needs to be eliminated as quickly and safely as possible. But the Whisperers are the first group of people that have existed in The Walking Dead so far that have seen them as something different.
For the Whisperers, the walkers are creatures that can be controlled and used to their own advantage and are actually the greatest form of protection that the group has. As a reflection of their unique view of the walkers, the Whisperers actually refer to them as "guardians" instead of any of the typical TWD zombie nomenclature.
6 Masks Can Be More Than Just Masks
Obviously, the walker skin masks that the Whisperers wear can serve a lot of purposes. It allows them to blend in among the hordes of zombies that they chose to walk with, and it hides their true faces from the enemies that they might come across. From a philosophical perspective, the Whisperers seem to idealize an escape from their own humanity, and the masks very clearly dehumanize them.
However, the skins could have some personal significance to the individual Whisperer as well, or at least that is certainly the case with Beta. When Alpha found Beta he was with his walker-fied friend, and when they left together Beta took his friend's face and made it into his mask.
5 Humanity Is Overrated
The Whisperers' idea of what humanity is seems to drastically differ from what any normal person would see human existence as. One of the most unique and frightening elements of the Whisperers as a group is that their social philosophy seems to be so wildly different from any character we've ever seen before.
They idealize everything animalistic and inhuman about themselves, and they seem to want to remove anything that identifies themselves with their own pasts or that identifies them as actual humans. They've all abandoned their own faces, and the highest-ranking members of the group don't even have names.
4 They're Extremely Territorial...
Much like a real wolf pack, the Whisperers are extremely possessive over their own territory, and it seems like most of their conflicts with other groups revolve around, or at least originated with, territorial infractions. They're extremely strict when it comes to their borders, and, if anyone encroaches on their territory, then they are likely to exact capital punishment on that person or their group.
Although Alpha ostensibly gave the main groups a break when they crossed their border the most recent time, it seems like that was all for show because she has been carrying out guerrilla attacks on them ever since.
3 ...But They're Nomadic
One of the many confounding aspects of the Whisperers as a group is that they are extremely possessive of and protective over their own territory, but they also don't seem to stay in one place for very long.
It makes sense considering their lifestyle, they need to keep their walkers moving, and, since they have no settlements, they likely have to keep traveling in order to find more food. It is a bit difficult to understand why they are so obsessed with the territory that they don't even use most of the time. It is likely a power move, but it seems to be a paradoxical set of ideals.
2 They Treat Their Masks
Clearly a possible issue that could arise with constantly wearing the skinned faces of dead bodies on their own living flesh is that the person wearing the mask could become contaminated and even be turned by the contact with these diseased, decaying skins. So, in order to protect themselves from possible infection, the Whisperers treat the skins in order to make them safer for skin to skin contact. It's difficult to know what exactly they do to the skins, but it appears to be some form of treatment, not unlike one would see done to animal skins in order to make leather.
1 You Join Them Or Die
Up until recently, Alpha's strategy when it came to dealing with her rival groups wasn't entirely clear, but it did seem like her attacks on the groups were planned out and had a specific purpose, and the purpose of the Whisperers and their attacks on the other groups seems to be to undermine their safety, ultimately destroy their communities, kill those who want to live in the "old world," and to acquire new members of the Whisperers who understand that their way of life is truly the only path to long term survival. Here's hoping her plans don't work out in this instance, though.