Daryl (Norman Reedus) must prepare the Hilltop for war against Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers in the preview for The Walking Dead Season 10 episode 11, "Morning Star." Defector Whisperer Lydia (Cassady McClincy) is returned to Hilltop after rejecting her mother, who was reborn "stronger than ever" after surviving a vicious fight with Daryl. Swearing to unleash her walker horde on the communities, including the one harboring her disowned daughter, Alpha assembles Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and her pack to march on Hilltop. The community led by Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) absence must stand alone when cut off from their allies at Alexandria, recovering from a deadly attack launched by Beta (Ryan Hurst).
Michonne (Danai Gurira) previously tasked Daryl with keeping Lydia at Alexandria, believing it would help protect the community from Alpha's wrath. But Alpha has severed her last shred of humanity, meaning no one — not even Lydia — will be spared from her threat to have her horde "butcher and consume" the survivors, turning their screams into song.
"Alpha has had this confrontation with her daughter and we heard Michonne say early in the season, 'We got to make sure Lydia stays safe because she's some protection for us basically.' So now everything's going to change, and this war with the Whisperers is really going to heat up," showrunner Angela Kang told EW after Sunday's 1010, "Stalker." "In the next episode, we're going to see what happens when our people are convinced that the Whisperers are on their way and that really becomes the major story going forward. And then all of the fallout from that happens as our two societies really clash in a big way."
On the dawn of the official launch of the Whisperer War, audiences can anticipate an "epic" and "really big" battle when the militia-style fighting force — including Aaron (Ross Marquand), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Kelly (Angel Theory), Luke (Dan Fogler), and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) — assemble to defend the Hilltop from Whisperers slinging, among other weapons, flaming arrows.
"I think it's been really exciting for us. It's very difficult to pull off," Kang previously told Insider. "But I think when you promise a war with the mega horde, that's filled with humans, you kind of got to deliver on something that feels really cool and big."