‘The Walking Dead’: How the Whisperer War Starts

The arrival of the Whisperers to The Walking Dead sparks another war, this time pitting the survivors against barbaric human foes who have adopted the way of the undead.

Lydia, a young member of the Whisperers, is captured and held prisoner at the Hilltop where she's interrogated by Jesus and leader Maggie.

The 16-year-old Lydia quickly bonds with Carl Grimes, who learns of the Whisperers' animalistic ways and merciless philosophies. As Lydia grows closer to Carl, she expresses an interest in staying with the Hilltop survivors.

Their whirlwind romance is threatened when Whisperer leader Alpha and a pack of walker skin-wearing underlings march on the Hilltop, where Alpha demands a meeting with its leader. When Maggie tells her they'll fight if they have to, Alpha says there will be no violence if they give up one thing: her daughter.

Maggie strikes a deal with Alpha, who holds Ken and Dante of the Hilltop as hostages. Despite Carl's protests, Lydia is returned to the Whisperers and Dante and Ken report their humane treatment as captives.

TWD Alpha 1
(Photo: Image Comics)

Carl pursues Lydia and is confronted by Alpha and the Whisperers, who allow him to return with them to the Whisperers' makeshift camp. Carl's father, Rick, sets out with Andrea, Michonne, and Dante to retrieve the missing Carl.

Rick is separated from the search party when a Whisperer leads him to Alpha, reuniting Rick with Carl. Taken with Lydia and worried for her safety, Carl refuses to leave with Rick, and a tense meeting with Alpha forces the Alexandrian leader to begrudgingly leave his son behind.

Alpha dictates the Whisperers' philosophy to Rick and shows him an overwhelming herd of walkers she threatens will be unleashed and destroy the new civilization Rick and the others have worked to rebuild, which she calls "a shrine to a world long dead."

Lydia is allowed to leave with Rick and Carl when Rick learns of the girl's cruel and abusive treatment by the Whisperers. Alpha makes a show of disowning the "weak" Lydia so her daughter can be freed of the Whisperer clan.

Before parting, Alpha warns Rick of a border separating the territory of the Whisperers that is not to be crossed.

TWD Alpha Rick
(Photo: Image Comics)

When returning home, Rick, Carl, Lydia, Michonne, Andrea, and Dante come across the dramatic border: a line of decapitated and reanimated heads impaled on pikes, with Eugene's pregnant girlfriend Rosita and Kingdom leader Ezekiel among the dozen victims.

Other slain victims include Ken, who was once held captive by the Whisperers, and Luke, a newcomer who had reached the communities belonging to the tight-knit group of Magna, Yumiko, Connie, and Kelly.

TWD pikes
(Photo: Image Comics)

The Walking Dead initiated the start of the Whisperer war in its mid-season premiere, which saw Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) capture and interrogate unwitting Whisperer Lydia (Cassady McClincy).

Jailed at Hilltop, Lydia formed a growing connection with Henry (Matt Lintz), while Alpha (Samantha Morton) captured an unsuspecting Luke (Dan Fogler) and Alden (Callan McAuliffe).

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Though showrunner Angela Kang previously noted the television series' adaptation of the Whisperers storyline will be remixed when pulling from the comic books, recently surfaced episode synopses hint at least one major plot point will carry over into the show — bringing with it "overwhelming" losses.

The Walking Dead next airs 910, 'Omega,' tonight at 9/8c on AMC.