The first two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10B are among the show's scariest and most explosive, and will kick off a half-season loaded with "epic action" and massive consequences, says showrunner Angela Kang. Following the revelation Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) was a Whisperer spy embedded within Alexandria, both sides have failed to adhere to territorial Whisperer leader Alpha's (Samantha Morton) imposed law ordering her border not to be crossed. In the lead up to the Whisperer War — a bloody and brutal conflict from creator Robert Kirkman's comic book — lives will be lost and, for some, there's no going back after what happens next.
"It's epic. It's really big," Kang told Insider of the warring factions composed of the survivors — Daryl (Norman Reedus), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Luke (Dan Fogler), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) among them — and the Whisperers, currently counting Beta (Ryan Hurst) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as members. "I think it's been really exciting for us. It's very difficult to pull off. 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."
In the comic books, the explosive Whisperer War claims multiple casualties on both sides and its aftermath results in another major death that may have already been hinted at on the show. These stories also involve a record number of walkers.
Kang wouldn't reveal if the fiery battle glimpsed in trailers is a Game of Thrones-sized epic or spread across multiple episodes, but in the half-season, audiences can anticipate "lots of action to come, and not just in one episode. Across the back half [of season 10]."
"I think there's a really cool amount of epic action, as well as stuff that is perhaps in scope smaller, but in terms of consequences, massive. So just lots and lots to come," Kang said. "[There's] things that we haven't quite done before in battle on the show. Stylistically, it's different."
The Walking Dead already changed its approach to action when an 18-month and then six-year time jump meant the survivors were forced to rely less on guns, instead taking up mostly hand-held weapons that are quieter but no less lethal.
The survivors and the militia-like fighting force trained by Daryl have "kind of moved into a more forged/medieval style that the blacksmiths are making," Kang told TVLine ahead of Season 10. "In this world, our people have the ability to manufacture bullets, but is that really the best use of resources or time, given that, when you’re dealing with a lot of zombies for the most part, you want something that’s reusable, that you can have in hand that’s hefty — quiet, too. Bullets are going to just draw more zombies. Our people have learned to fight in a different, more collaborative way."
That fighting force revealed in the season premiere will assemble again later this season to defend Hilltop from invading walkers and attacking Whisperers, many of them wielding flaming arrows. Ahead of that barbarous battle, the Alexandrians will first be forced to fend off an outside threat that makes its way into their walls in Season 10 Episode 10, "Stalker."
TWD returns with its midseason premiere, "Squeeze," Sunday, Feb. 23 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.