While it seems the Whisperers would be a long way off in terms of The Walking Dead's story telling when comparing the comic books to the television series. That isn't stopping AMC from teasing the arrival of the menacing group's arrival on the TV adaptation.
A promotional photo for the much anticipated Season 7 of the hit zombie drama was shared on AMC's The Walking Dead Instagram account on Friday night. It depicts a decaptitated male's head on a spike with the caption, "You've been warned."
In the comics, the Whisperers are introduced after Alexandria's war against the Saviors. They are a savage group which wears the flesh of the undead and walks among them, never raising their voices above a whisper and live barbarically with absolutely no principles except following their leader.
After a few encounters with the group, the Whisperers decide that Rick's community have stretched too far into their territory. To inform the Safe-Zone, the Whisperer leader Alpha sneaks into the community and kidnaps several members during a town fair. Notably, Ezekiel and Rosita are among the bunch, all of whom are found with their heads on a line of spikes marking Whisperer land.
"I want you to see that when I tell you that I will destroy everything you've built in this world, everything you love, everyone you know, that is not an empty threat," Alpha said to Rick in the comics.
It was a warning.
The tease is likely just that. The AMC series already has a pair of new communities to introduce in Season 7 with the Saviors' Sanctuary and Ezekiel's Kingdom in the on deck circle.
Writer and creator of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, was asked about whether or not the Whisperers will make their way to television at New York Comic Con just last weekend. His answer was simple: "Eventually."
"As long as we don't get cancelled, it should," Kirkman said of the Whisperer War story line.
Of course, this tease is probably similar to others the show has used to toy with fans in years past. It's similar to images of Glenn holding a baseball bat in Season 5 promotional photos, which panned out when the group visited Noah's hometown of Shirewilt Estates, and the recent tease of Rick losing his right hand in the first clip from Season 7. Andrew Lincoln has told ComicBook.com in the past that despite his (and others) wishes to see Rick lose his hand like he did in issue #28 of Kirkman's comics, the VFX team has ruled it out.
Introducing the group ahead of their comic book parallel would not be unheard of for the series. For example, Dwight's first appearance came in issue #98, only two issues before Negan arrived, but the character was introduced in a significantly different manner during the first half of The Walking Dead's sixth season only to return in true-to-the-comics fashion eight episodes later.
With Tara and Heath out running into trouble as seen in the Season 7 trailer, it's possible they have run into Alexandria's next big challenge.
Will the Whisperers come to The Walking Dead? Yeah, eventually, but probably not in Season 7.
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.