The Walking Dead may have left some viewers wondering, "Why are the walkers talking?" Those viewers never read The Walking Dead comics.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x06 and the comics follow. Major spoilers!
To conclude Sunday night's Episode 9x06, Eugene had to keep his "testicular heft" on reserve as he and Rosita hid from a massive herd of walkers. After they buried themselves in mud, hoping the walkers would pass them by as Eugene's injury did not allow them to outrun them, something perplexing happened. The walkers were heard saying, "Where are they?" A second responded, "They must be close. Finally, another whispered, "Don't let them get away."
This is not talking zombies, though. In Robert Kirkman's source material, a group of villains was introduced beyond the All Out War story which called themselves the Whisperers. This group wears the flesh of the dead and walks among them, acting barbarically and keeping their voices to a whisper as a means to blend in.
The Whisperers first appeared in The Walking Dead comics in issue #130. The issue was the fourth to follow the All Out War story, which saw a massive time jump carried out between issues #126 and #127. The group is lead by Alpha, a bald woman whose true name is never revealed. Ruthless in her ways, Alpha insists any member of her group leave any signs of civilization behind. Nearly anything goes when it comes to survival among the Whisperers. Alpha's daughter, Lydia, becomes a problem when she develops a relationship with Carl Grimes. This story will be remixed with other characters on the AMC series.
Alpha will be played by Samantha Morten and Lydia will be played by Cassady McClincy. Neither of the characters or actors will be revealed in 2018's episodes of The Walking Dead. Second in command among the Whisperers is Beta, played by Sons of Anarchy and Remember the Titans star Ryan Hurst.
The Whisperers are best known for their infiltration of the fair which took place among the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities. After the group became what Alpha deemed a threat, she kidnapped several survivors including a pregnant Rosita and King Ezekiel, beheading them and placing their reanimated heads on spikes. These spikes would mark their territory and serve as a warning to Rick which claimed he and his people are not to step into Whisperer-land.
For more details on the group, check out ComicBook.com's guide to the Whisperers. Spoiler warning!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.