The Walking Dead Season Eight finale may have introduced the show's next villain.
As Rick and his army marched toward Negan and the Saviors, they stopped to look out from the top of a hill. They saw a massive herd of walkers in the distance but quickly moved on. However, the herd may have been much more than that. As Rick's army marched across the hill, they walked along a series of poles marking a possible border or territory.
In The Walking Dead comics, the Whisperers use spikes and pillars to mark their territory. Anybody who crosses those lines instantly become enemies. The number of actual Whisperers is unknown, however, they are camouflaged with the dead making their army expand to thousands being considered among their ranks.
Whether or not this group of bodies roaming the woods in the distance from Rick's army is the Whisperers will likely be explored in Season Nine, if true. However, if not, the herd might simply go silently into the night.
The Whisperer group is unlike anything The Walking Dead had ever introduced by the time they came around. Unlike the Woodbury and the Saviors, the Whisperers don't have a single location they call home. Instead, they wear the skin and faces of the dead and walk among them, never speaking above a whisper, and constantly blending in. They have no rules and live without bounds and are eager to end anyone who will interfere with their way of life.
Unfortunately for characters like King Ezekiel and Rosita, the Alexandrian way of life interfered with the Whisperers, prompting Alpha to infiltrate the community and kidnap several residents. She would then use their heads on pike to mark the territory which Rick and his people were never to cross.
Alpha, a character whose pre-apocalyptic name is never revealed, had a daughter named Lydia. Lydia developed a relationship with Carl and elected stay at the Hilltop with him against her mother's wishes but is ultimately handed over in a hostage exchange under Maggie and Alpha's orders. The leader believes Rick and Maggie's attempts to rebuild civilization are a "shrine to a long dead world."
After several encounters, a massive war would be waged between the two groups. However, the tipping point was Negan's escape from an Alexandria prison only to meet with the Whisperer group. While it appeared the villain would seek revenge on Rick and Alexandria for taking his position of power and the Saviors from him, he would decapitate Alpha and return her head to Rick. The exchange allowed for the beloved by many fans relationship between Rick and now anti-hero Negan and the two would be forced to work together throughout the war.
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.