When introducing new enemy group the Whisperers in The Walking Dead 906, "Who Are You Now?," the episode might have contained a secret cameo by Lydia (Cassady McClincy), daughter of brutal leader Alpha (Samantha Morton).
Walking Dead insider Johnny O'Dell teased as much in the latest installment of Skybound's mailbag, writing we're "still a bit away" from meeting Lydia before adding, "that is, if we haven't seen her already."
As revealed in Robert Kirkman's comic book series — spoilers — the walkers believed to be capable of speech are actually members of a barbaric cult who wear the skins of the dead as fleshy disguises, allowing them to move freely among walkers and catch their still-living prey off guard.
Lydia could have been traveling with the horde of walkers first encountered by Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) when the pair ventured out into the woods to set up a remote amplifier intended to help discover new communities.
The Alexandrians were relentlessly pursued by the stream of walkers, who could be heard whispering, "don't let them get away" and "where are they?"
McClincy's Lydia could be unveiled in full sometime after the mid-season finale, following The Walking Dead's annual winter hiatus. Also in tow with the mother-daughter pair is Whisperer second-in-command Beta (Ryan Hurst), a duel-knife-wielding savage who is as protective of Alpha as he is his "secret identity," which he hides at all times beneath his skin mask.
Lydia is expected to play out the comic book storyline she shared with Carl Grimes, with blacksmith apprentice Henry (Matt Lintz) taking over the story that would have gone to since killed-off TV Carl (Chandler Riggs).
The Lydia-Henry dynamic would then see Carol (Melissa McBride) clash with Alpha, a villain producer-director Greg Nicotero has teased as "chilling."
"This is part of the mystery of the story of the Whisperers that we're starting this season. What I'll say is there are some twists and turns to this story, but there will be some answers by the time we get to the midseason finale," showrunner Angela Kang told THR.
Kang warned the arrival of the Whisperers signals the opening of "a Pandora's box of other things" that gives way to "a really cool ride" — one that may have fatal and tragic consequences for a few fan-favorite characters.