Newest Walking Dead villain Alpha (Samantha Morton) is now asserting her dominance, but does the Whisperer leader meet a violent end in creator Robert Kirkman’s comic books?
There Alpha is similarly the cruel and merciless commander of the Whisperers, but finds herself opposed to hobbled Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes when his son, Carl Grimes, engages in a forbidden romance with Alpha’s daughter, reluctant and abused Whisperer Lydia.
Carl sneaks away from Hilltop in an attempt to rescue Lydia after her return to the Whisperers, and Alpha takes Carl captive for a time. A Whisperer then brings Rick to his son, and Alpha presents to Rick a massive gathering of walkers corralled by the Whisperers.
Alpha threatens to unleash the walker horde on Alexandria if Rick’s people continue to encroach on the Whisperers’ territory, but in a rare display of humanity, makes a show of disowning Lydia so that she may be free of the Whisperers’ barbaric way of life.
When returning to their budding civilization, Rick is horrified to discover a gruesome and dramatic border marking Whisperer territory: one dozen reanimated heads on pikes, comprised of abducted victims from the multiple communities participating in a fair thrown to encourage trade and good will.
Around this time, Brandon Rose frees jailed former Savior leader Negan, hoping to unleash the villain on Rick, who was forced to kill Brandon’s father in self defense. But Negan murders Brandon and wanders into Whisperer territory alone.
In The Walking Dead #156, Negan integrates for a time into the Whisperers’ camp and soon professes his love for Alpha, sharing a relationship of mutual respect with the fearless leader. Beta, Alpha’s trusted lieutenant, vehemently disapproves of Negan’s presence and the men quickly butt heads.
Alpha allows Negan to stay with the Whisperers, but doubts he’ll survive. When he asks for his own “skin suit,” Alpha tells him he must earn it.
Negan learns the Whisperers’ ways and proves himself a capable member of the group, but rushes to defend a female Whisperer moments away from being raped. When Alpha says she lets such occurrences play out without interference — telling Negan defending others is “not our way” — Negan calls the Whisperers the “f—ing weirdest weirdos ever,” despite earning Alpha’s rarely given respect and trust.
Negan has shown an aversion to rape — once killing one of his own men as punishment for the act — and is particularly upset by Alpha’s indifference towards the raping of female Whisperers, including the sexual abuse suffered by Lydia.
He tells Alpha the Whisperer philosophy is “vile,” but Alpha defends her stance: “If you protect the weak, they never become strong.” Negan argues protecting the weak “is the whole f—ing basis for civilization,” telling her to do otherwise is uncivilized.
Zeroing in on Alpha’s hidden emotional weaknesses, Negan calls her out for being a hypocrite and relying on Beta for protection. This forces Alpha to break down and admit she’s “not strong.”
“You think it makes you strong to pretend emotions aren’t real,” Negan says. “That you’re all animals and you value strength above all else. It’s all a game, Alpha... and you’re not f—ing winning.”
After a pause, Alpha tells him, “Maybe you do belong here.”
Negan smiles. “Maybe.”
With that, he slashes Alpha’s throat. He then uses his blade to saw off her head and hoists his trophy into the air, looking upon it with gleeful admiration.
“Wait until Rick gets a look at you.”
Beta is outraged to find Alpha’s corpse. Refusing the title of “Alpha,” arguing she’s irreplaceable, Beta issues a simple vow: “Now they all die.”
Negan then presents Alpha’s head to Rick, telling him he did it for the same reason he remained in his jail cell with an open door: “To earn trust.”
Rick remains suspicious even as Negan explains he’s come to understand and agree with the reasoning behind his jailing, namely to signify there is a “better way” than execution to punish criminals. Still wary, Rick conscripts Negan to serve on the frontlines of the Whisperer war.
If Negan serves dutifully and contributes, if he earns it, Rick will give Negan food and supplies. One slip up and he’s dead.
Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan hopes to realize this storyline in the show, which has since been officially renewed for its tenth season.
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