The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang has teased a "cold war" conflict between the survivors and the Whisperers when the zombie drama returns with its tenth season.
"Thematically, I'll give you an early hint: we're talking about the idea of the Whisperers," Kang told THR when asked to dish on themes expected to play out in Season 10.
"There's some stuff from the comic books that has to do with the idea of Whisperers and whispering and propaganda. We're very interested in what a war with people like the Whisperers looks like. What is a cold war like in The Walking Dead? We're looking forward to exploring that next year."
After Alpha (Samantha Morton) slaughtered ten victims belonging to the neighboring communities, the survivors were forced to tread into marked Whisperer territory amid a deadly blizzard.
Kang and the Walking Dead team subverted expectations when it was discovered there were no consequences — at least, not yet — for entering the Whisperers' land, which was only temporarily vacated as the skin-wearing savages headed for a warmer climate as revealed in a last minute scene between Alpha and number two Beta (Ryan Hurst), who was last seen whipping his stoic leader.
"We wanted to tell sort of an unexpected story for the Whisperers, which is, we generally know what happens with our characters when there's a big loss from an opposing force. They gear up and go to war. But the Whisperers don't exactly have a home address. You can't go knock on their door with a bunch of machine guns. That's not their deal. So they're nomadic," Kang explained to EW.
"When we start talking about, what's the reality, what do these guys do during winter? They don't live in standing structures. They probably migrate South for the winter like birds. But then what does that mean and how are they going about unseen when they've got this giant herd?"
That herd, corralled in a nearby valley and used as a show of force against Daryl (Norman Reedus), "plays into the story going forward," Kang said.
"The thing with the Whisperers that really is interesting for us is — because their entire philosophy of life, the way that they go about the world and navigate the world, would be herds — it changes the way that a conflict with them versus any other group they come across, has to play out," she added.
"We definitely wanted to introduce that idea in the winter episode, which is: We're afraid they're gonna catch us, turns out they're not even there. What does that mean for us going forward?"
The Walking Dead Season 10 is due out later this year on AMC.
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