Season 9 of The Walking Dead is entering uncharted territory for the AMC-hit series, introducing a deadly new group of villains called the Whisperers. The midseason premiere marks the first time that the group will face off against a dangerous new threat without Rick Grimes in the lead. Actor Andrew Lincoln, who played Rick since the series began in 2010, notably left the show during the ninth season. In a surprise twist, his character was revealed to be alive, but he won't be around when the Whisperers wreak havoc.
The Walking Dead has had its fair share of antagonists. Shane, the Governor, Gareth, and of course Negan and his Saviors quickly come to mind. The arrival of the Whisperers has always been a highly anticipated turning point in the series, especially to comic book readers, and the deadly group is like nothing the viewers have seen to this point.
The Whisperers disguise themselves by wearing the skinned faces of the undead. They travel among the walkers and communicate with one another through whispers, which explains their name. Their arrival has major implications for the series and its future. The Whisperers' beliefs and methods of disguise prove very problematic for fellow survivors in the area.
- This Page: The Whisperers In The TV Show & Comics
- Page 2: The Main Whisperers & Their Future On The Show
The Whisperers Are Walking Dead's New Villains
When Magna is introduced, there's a cause for concern that her group will be the next to cause issues for Michonne and the other communities. After their arrival, however, the show starts to drop hints that there might actually be another threat out there. This sense of dread is intensified when a walker herd forces Rosita and Eugene to hide down a ravine in the woods. While they cover themselves with mud, they hear the walkers communicate. More importantly, Rosita and Eugene realize that the walkers are actively searching for them.
In the following episode, "Stradivarius," a severely injured Rosita is still being chased by the whispering walkers. Her exhaustion eventually gets the best of her, but not before she shoots a flare. Thankfully, Jesus and Aaron come to her rescue but the strange happenings seem to amp up from there. A few oddly-timed POV shots hint that someone (or something) is watching from the woods when Michonne escorts Magna's group to Hilltop.
The Whisperers make their grand introduction in the season 9 midseason finale, "Evolution." After Rosita reveals Eugene's location, Daryl, Aaron, and Jesus go out to search for him. On their new mission, they encounter a very large group of walker circling around a field. Even stranger is the fact that one of the walkers seems to notice them from afar. The herd eventually catches up to the trio around the same time they find Eugene. They also soon realize that these aren't normal walkers.
While cornered in a cemetery, Daryl, Aaron, Eugene, and Jesus try to fight their way out. Rosita tips off Michonne that they aren't dealing with actual walkers so backup arrives but it's already too late. When Jesus tries to take out a walker, the seemingly undead figure dodges the sword and stabs Jesus in the back killing him. In shock, the group fends off the rest of these imposters only to realize some of the "dead" are humans wearing the skin of walkers as a disguise. The disguise is intended for more than just protection, it's a method of carrying out planned attacks.
Whisperers In The Walking Dead Comics
The Whisperers first appear in Issue 130 of The Walking Dead comic book series created by Robert Kirkman. The primitive cult-like group serves as the main protagonists for a sizeable story arc in the comics. After a large number of survivors banded together shortly after the apocalypse, they decide to change their way of life. Led by Alpha, the Whisperers view the apocalypse as a reset button. They believe humans are animals and there's no point of civilization.
The Whisperers might be the most violent villains within The Walking Dead universe. Their primitive nature encourages them to walk around among the dead while wearing their faces. Members see each other as animals by ignoring human emotion. They see all other communities as threats so they often kill on sight. At times, members of the Whisperers will even recruit new survivors against their will. Without firearms, Whisperers rely on melee weapons and hand-to-hand combat. Their deadliest weapon, however, is the use of controlled herds of walkers to do their killing.
Members of the communities encounter the Whisperers in a similar fashion as shown in the TV series. A hostage situation arises in the comics that force the communities to work closely with the Whisperers to work out a compromise. Alpha has a very hard time understanding the way of life that Rick and the others have created. She makes it clear that the groups won't have a civil relationship. A bloody battle eventually erupts, referred to as the "Whisperer War." To no surprise, Negan finds himself heavily involved and stuck in the middle of the two forces.