Alpha (Samantha Morton) leads her Whisperers in a hushed chant in a sneak peek look at the second half of The Walking Dead's tenth season. "We take them all," Alpha hisses from the front of her pack, whose creed unifies the flesh-wearing cultists: "We walk in darkness, we are free. We bathe in blood, we are free. We love nothing, we are free. We fear nothing, we are free. We need no words, we are free. We embrace all death, we are free. This is the end of the world. Now is the end of the world. We are the end of the world."
Marketing for the second half of Season 10 has largely revolved around Alpha, including a previous promo showing the villainess losing her head and another eerie teaser suggesting that idiom might become literal some time during the ongoing Whisperer war.
"Now things ramp up and it’s time to go to war, but, to add another twist, the Whisperers are not your normal group. They’re not behind walls somewhere," showrunner Angela Kang previously told Deadline of the survivors' worsening conflict with the Whisperers, who have been trespassing beyond the border erected by Alpha in Season 9 and assaulting the Alexandria, Hilltop and Oceanside communities. "You can’t just go knock on their door and have guns pointed at their gates. That’s not them. We’re playing with the expectations of are they even where they say they are at any given time. They’re migratory."
Michonne (Danai Gurira) is off on a dangerous mission in search of weapons capable of wiping out the Whisperers' walker horde that has currently trapped Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride) and other heroes below ground, but when the survivors and the Whisperers come to blows at the Hilltop — teasers for the remainder of the season show the Whisperers wielding flaming arrows as part of their arsenal — the Alexandria and Hilltop fighters can be seen brandishing crossbows, spears, and studded shields in their defense of the farming colony currently commanded by Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton).
Because they’re now "in a different time in the apocalypse" — a decade has passed — the survivors have "kind of moved into a more forged/medieval style that the blacksmiths are making," Kang said ahead of Season 10. "In this world, our people have the ability to manufacture bullets, but is that really the best use of resources or time, given that, when you’re dealing with a lot of zombies for the most part, you want something that’s reusable, that you can have in hand that’s hefty — quiet, too. Bullets are going to just draw more zombies. Our people have learned to fight in a different, more collaborative way."
TWD Season 10 returns with new episodes Sunday, Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.