Ex-Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs believes the Whisperers might have been Carl Grimes’ “downfall” had he lived to encounter the enemy cult commanded by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Beta (Ryan Hurst). Before his death from walker bite in Season 8, it was Carl who urged father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to trust then-outsider Siddiq (Avi Nash), and Carl ultimately inspired Rick to show mercy to archenemy Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) when ending the war against the Saviors. Because there’s no reasoning with the savage Whisperers, Riggs suspects Carl’s humanitarian efforts when handling this new enemy might have meant a worse end for Carl.
“When we left Carl, he was all about making peace, all about everybody living together, happily ever after,” Riggs said on Talking Dead. “But I feel like in the situation with the Whisperers, that might be his downfall. The Whisperers aren’t people that you can just throw into prison for seven years and they’re good, you know what I mean? Like with Negan. Like with Beta, there are some serious mental problems that that dude has.”
The psychopathic Beta cut down a Whisperer who palmed Negan a slice of pig in 10x06, “Bonds,” which showed a glimpse of humanity among the otherwise animalistic Whisperers. For Riggs, this is a sign some of Alpha’s followers ended up on the wrong side.
“A point I thought was so interesting was when that Whisperer offered Negan some food. I’m like, ‘That’s so cool.’ I’m sure most of the Whisperers have serious problems, like Beta, for example,” Riggs said. “But they just ended up with some wrong crowds and ended up with the Whisperers, [and] they’re like, ‘Okay, guess this is what I’m doing now.’ But then they see Negan who’s just an actual person who’s funny, they haven’t heard a joke in years, so to see someone that has this life around them, I’m sure it’s so cool.”
In March, Riggs admitted aboard Walker Stalker Cruise he was “looking forward to a lot of the storylines” with Lydia (Cassady McClincy) and the Whisperers from the comic books. Much of Carl’s comic book story instead played out with Henry (Matt Lintz), a character exclusive to the show.
Unlike Carl, who survived through the final issue of The Walking Dead, Henry was among the first victims claimed by Alpha: Henry’s decapitated head was displayed atop a pike marking Whisperer land claimed by the territorial Alpha.
TWD airs its Season 10 midseason finale, “The World Before,” Sunday, Nov. 24 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.