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- "We walk in darkness. We are free. We bathe in blood. We are free. We love nothing. We are free. We fear nothing. We are free. We need no words. We are free. We embrace all death. We are free. This is the end of the world. Now is the end of the world. We are the end of the world."
- —Alpha and Beta reciting the Whisperers' motto.[src]
The Whisperers are a mysterious group of hostile survivors who disguise themselves with the skin of the undead in order to blend in with them and not get noticed. They are first introduced in the episode "Who Are You Now?" of AMC's The Walking Dead. They serve as the secondary antagonistic group for the first half of Season 9 and the primary antagonistic group for the second half of Season 9 and the whole of Season 10.
The Whisperers are a group of unknown size who have adopted the ideology that humanity is to return to its most animalistic roots, living in the wild and following a societal hierarchy similar to that of wolves, with an "Alpha" as their one true pack leader. As such, The Whisperers are also fiercely territorial and will kill anyone who treads into any land they see as their own. Through a process of skinning killed walkers and possibly other dead bodies and curing the 'leather' in order to prevent contamination, Whisperers craft and don full-head masks that allow them to blend into herds and guide them like sheep for strategic or defensive benefits.
Nothing is known about the lives of the Whisperers prior to or as the outbreak began, or when and where their group was first formed. Some members, like "Alpha" and her daughter, and Mary and Frances knew each other prior.
The Whisperers were first formed by a woman who would eventually become known as "Alpha", her young daughter, Lydia, and a man who would become known as "Beta". The three had previously encountered each other in a hospital and joined forces with each other. The three eventually began using an ingenious way of being protected from walker attacks by killing the walkers and using their skin to mask their scents in order to move freely among their herds. Picking up new survivors along the way, they instructed them to use this practice and all of the group members were forced to shed their previous identities and names, becoming nothing but hardened and primitive survivors. They survived off the land, moving from place to place. The group communicates whilst moving among herds by whispering with gruff voices, hence their name, similar to what a walker may sound like if it could talk. By herding walkers, the group was eventually able to culminate a large horde numbering in the thousands to be used as a potential weapon.
Six years after Rick's presumed death, the communities have become fractured and distrusting of one another. Travel between groups is infrequent, and the wider world has transformed. Most technology and infrastructure from the old world have long since stopped working, and the vast areas outside settlements have been taken over by nature. On a mission to set up improved radio communication, Eugene and Rosita move out beyond the safely mapped areas near Alexandria. In the process, they unknowingly crossed into Whisperer territory. Whilst fleeing from a herd of walkers in the woods upon accidentally catching their attention, the two are relentlessly pursued, unable to lose the undead. Fatigued, they eventually slide down a small ravine on the side of a road and cover themselves with mud to mask their scents from the approaching herd. The two are then horrified to hear what sounds like speaking walkers. One is heard asking "Where are they?", while another replies "They must be close. Don't let them get away." Unbeknownst to them, the "walkers" that are speaking are not walkers at all, but Whisperers who have been leading the herd in pursuit of the pair.
After stowing Eugene in a barn, Rosita once again attempts to escape from the herd. While following an exhausted and injured Rosita through the woods, the Whisperers are heard whispering to each other ("She's still here", "Yes... don't let her get away") until she escapes far enough from them and passes out, with the Whisperers turning their attention on finding Eugene instead ("Follow the other one").
While out looking for Eugene, Daryl, Jesus and Aaron observe a large herd of about 130 or 140 in a field, and notice that the walkers are just milling around in circles, something they have never witnessed before. With a storm approaching, the three then leave. However, a Whisperer within the herd becomes aware to their presence, and watches them as they walk off. The three keep on moving but soon realize that the herd has begun to follow them, and to buy them time, Daryl activates an alarm clock and throws it into the field in order to draw them away with the noise. The three notice that the herd has doubled in numbers since they last saw it (as the Whisperers are combining herds to pursue the trio) and run away when the alarm goes off, seemingly drawing the herd to it.
Later that night, Daryl, Jesus, and Aaron locate Eugene hiding in a barn cellar. A terrified Eugene warns them about a herd of walkers hunting for him and that they need to leave immediately. Eugene then reveals to the trio that he and Rosita heard the dead whispering to each other but the others don't believe him. After separating from Aaron, Eugene, and Jesus, Daryl sets off fireworks to redirect the herd away, but a small group of the walkers in front (being guided by Whisperers) ignore the noise completely and the rest follow their lead, leaving him shocked.
Meanwhile, Aaron, Jesus, and Eugene end up at a foggy cemetery. They quickly get trapped by a locked gate, forcing Jesus and Aaron to fight off the walkers while they hear whispers in the area. Suddenly, Michonne, Magna and Yumiko arrive to help them unlock the gate. Jesus tells Aaron and Eugene to get out while he finishes taking down the walkers. He kills most of them with his sword, but as he goes to finish the last, the "walker" (who is actually the same Whisperer who noticed the trio earlier in the field) dodges and stabs him from behind through his chest, shocking everyone. The Whisperer then says to a mortally wounded Jesus "You are where you do not belong", before throwing him onto the ground.
Four more Whisperers armed with knives then emerge from the fog and run toward the group, while Daryl quickly kills the Whisperer who stabbed Jesus with his crossbow upon arriving. Michonne, Aaron, Yumiko and Magna enter the cemetery and kill off the remaining attackers. Michonne and Daryl examine one of the assailant's bodies, discovering that it is not a walker at all, but a human survivor wearing a walker mask. Before they can process the situation, whispers around them get louder and the group circles up to fight the approaching Whisperers off.
As the Whisperers advance, Michonne's group begins to flee the cemetery, taking the mask of the Whisperer that killed Jesus. As both the Whisperers and the walkers advance, Daryl kills a Whisperer with his crossbow, picking him out of the advancing walkers through the knife in the man's hand. As the herd continues to advance, Michonne stays to cover the escape of the others, killing two more Whisperers with her sword. When another one charges Michonne with a blade raised over their head, Yumiko takes them out with an arrow. As they escape, Daryl locks the cemetery gates, trapping the herd, but a Whisperer unlocks it.
The next day, as Michonne's group moves towards the Hilltop, they spot a band of walkers, unsure if they are Whisperers or not. The group lures the six walkers onto a covered bridge where Daryl tests for people by shooting them in the leg with his crossbow. The second "walker" Daryl shoots proves to be a Whisperer who screams, causing the three actual walkers to turn on the Whisperer and begin tearing him apart. The two surviving Whisperers turn to find Michonne waiting for them at the other end of the bridge. One draws a knife and attacks, but is quickly dispatched by Michonne with her katana. As the other survivors begin taking out the walkers, the last Whisperer, Lydia, surrenders and is taken prisoner to Hilltop. Despite intense questioning, Lydia refuses to reveal much about her people, claiming they all died at the cemetery and the bridge. She also states that the Whisperers had already been planning to destroy the communities. However, Michonne and Daryl don't believe Lydia's claims.
At the same time, Luke and Alden go out searching for their friends. Finding several of Yumiko's arrows, they follow the trail right into a trap set for them by Alpha. Luke and Alden are captured by Alpha and several of the Whisperers.
The Whisperers are first seen watching Magna's group in the woods when the former splits up. Later, a big group of Whisperers led by Alpha approaches the Hilltop and she asks for the return of her daughter.
Outside the Hilltop, Alpha and the Whisperers wait for the survivors to bring Lydia to her. Daryl asks them to leave and Alpha signals for more Whisperers to show up. Magna asks Alpha if they killed their people, to which the former replies "no" and warns that if they don't bring her Lydia, there will be conflict. Daryl walks outside and Alpha instructs one of her people to bring someone. Daryl informs Alpha that he's ready to fight her people to ensure she doesn't get Lydia back, until he spots one of the Whisperers with a baby. Alpha explains that they're animals and "animals have babies." Suddenly, a couple of Whisperers bring up a tied up Alden and Luke. Alpha offers to trade both of them for her daughter.
A herd arrives and Alpha instructs her people to draw it away. Meanwhile, a Whisperer's baby starts crying, which attracts the herd. Alpha shrugs at the mother, indicating she should leave the baby to die. Alden and Luke scream in disagreement, but Alpha deems it as natural selection. The guards bang the fence to attract the walkers away from the baby, to no avail. Luke frantically signs for Connie to grab the baby. She runs out of the cornfield and grabs it after slingshotting a walker. The Whisperers around her unsheathe blades as Connie escapes back into the cornfield.
Afterwards, Daryl hands Lydia over to Alpha in exchange for Alden and Luke, who are embraced by Enid and Magna's group. Lydia apologizes to her mother and Alpha smacks her across the face, ordering her to address her as Alpha like everyone else. She then smiles at Daryl as her group leaves.
The Whisperers make their way back to their camp with Alpha grilling Lydia for what she learned on the Hilltop. Lydia lies about what she learned, failing to mention the Kingdom or any of the other communities Henry told her about. When Henry tries to rescue Lydia, he is captured by the Whisperers and taken to their camp, discovering how large their group actually is. Alpha's actions cause Sean and Helen to rebel against Alpha, only for her to kill them both.
At night, Alpha demands that Lydia kill Henry as proof of her allegiance, having noticed the feelings Lydia has for the boy. She threatens to have Beta kill them both if she refuses. Suddenly, a herd attacks the camp, killing a few unmasked Whisperers. As the Whisperers don their masks to hide amongst the herd and escape the attack, Daryl and Connie, disguised as Whisperers, arrive to rescue Henry. Henry refuses to leave Lydia behind and takes her with them as the three escape.
In the aftermath of the attack on the camp, Beta leads a group of Whisperers, made up of himself, Zion, a tracker and four unnamed Whisperers to retrieve Lydia. Hiding amongst a herd that includes a Whisperer who was bitten in the attack and died afterwards, the Whisperers track Daryl's group to an abandoned building where they have set up a barricade to separate the Whisperers from the walkers.
Separated from their herd, the Whisperers fight Daryl's group on the top floor where Daryl and Connie kill most of the Whisperers, including Zion, before Beta attacks Daryl and an unnamed Whisperer injures Henry's leg. To save Henry, Lydia releases Dog from the closet Daryl placed them in. Dog begins tearing out the Whisperer's throat, allowing Henry to finish him off. After a brutal fight, Daryl knocks Beta down an elevator shaft, apparently killing him and ending the battle.
With the Whisperers defeated, Connie draws the herd away with her slingshot and Daryl decides to head for Alexandria to get help for Henry before they keep moving, knowing Alpha and the Whisperers will never stop hunting them. Unknown to Daryl's group, Beta survives and is left trapped at the bottom of the elevator shaft.
That night, Daryl, Carol, Michonne, and Yumiko are led into a trap by the Whisperers. Alpha leads Daryl to a cliff to show him a horde of thousands of walkers with Whisperers guiding them. Alpha threatens to unleash the horde upon the communities if they cross into Whisperer territory again, releasing her captives. After leaving the area, the group finds an injured Siddiq near the border. The border is then revealed to be marked with pikes containing the reanimated heads of D.J., Ozzy, Alek, Frankie, Adeline, Rodney, Tammy Rose Sutton, Enid, Tara and Henry. Back in their own camp Beta inquires as to Lydia's fate but an upset Alpha asks to be left alone and he complies. A Whisperer catches Alpha shedding tears and she in turn slaughters him in order to ensure the group does not learn of her weakness.
At a gathering in the Kingdom, Siddiq states his belief that Alpha wanted him to spread the story of the evil that had happened and scare the communities into breaking apart. Instead, Siddiq tells a story of a heroic last stand, which began when Ozzy, Alek, and D.J. found the prisoners, allowing them to fight back. They kill several Whisperers before they are overpowered by Alpha and other Whisperers. Even though many of the prisoners didn't know each other, they fought like a family to protect each other to the very end which is how Siddiq believes they should be remembered, not as loved ones who were brutally executed.
Several months after the fair massacre, the storm has passed. In their camp, Beta tells Alpha "the time away has been good for the pack." Alpha reminds him she'll need to be strong for what comes next and Beta assures her she will be. He then flops her arm with a branch to make her strong.
Daryl and Carol walk to the cliff where Alpha showed him the Whisperers' herd. As he leaves, Carol sees Alpha emerge from the woods. She looks up and they stare at each other with anger.
Alpha and Beta talk about their enemies and the fear they possess on them. He says they should return so they won't forget about them, but Alpha questions his loyalty towards her decisions. Beta says he would never question her and is sent to collect walkers for their herd with the help of two sisters.
Frances starts crying in the middle of a herd and causes some walkers to try to attack her. Beta kills them and says she will pay for this. At their camp, Beta throws Frances to the ground and orders a Whisperer to kill her. As she starts screaming that her son is in a better place, Alpha demands they leave her alone. Beta follows her and says she needs to punish Frances. Alpha angrily tells him to not question her and claims he would never understand what it feels to lose a child. She then orders him to send Frances to a tent where she will be waiting.
The next day, Alpha leads a group of Whisperers to a field to gather more walkers. Suddenly, the satellite crashes through the sky and the herd starts to scatter. Frances witnesses a walker with a strapped baby carrier and starts having flashbacks to when she abandoned her son. She runs towards Alpha and jumps on her causing the herd to get riled up. The herd closes in and Frances is pulled off Alpha by her sister and thrown to the middle of the herd to be devoured.
Back at their camp, Alpha questions Frances' sister on whether or not she regrets letting her sister die. She confesses she will always be loyal to Alpha. Beta approaches and questions Alpha about why she is calm after losing three of their people and their herd. Alpha, however, claims she is proud of the woman. That night, Alpha anoints the woman a "Gamma" and the group praises her. Beta watches with jealousy from behind. The next day, Gamma questions Beta's feelings about her. They both claim to be empty as Alpha wants. Beta then heads off to look for Alpha at their old camp.
In the present, Beta discovers Alpha has made a shrine to Lydia and lied about killing her. Alpha breaks down and says she couldn't kill her daughter. She then destroys the shrine and pleads with him to keep Lydia's life a secret. He promises he will and informs her that the enemy has crossed the border. Alpha smiles and says they will return to teach them a lesson. Later, the Whisperers move around the woods with their herd as Alpha notices something in the distance. She wanders off and looks at Carol watching her from a distant cliff.
Alpha arrives with some Whisperers at the border and Daryl, Michonne, Carol, and a few others arrive as well and lay down their weapons. She reminds them to stay off her land. Michonne explains the fire would have wiped out Oceanside and they only crossed one time, but Alpha reminds her of two other times they trespassed. Alpha declares that there will be no bloodshed, and instead announces she's moving the border up as punishment. Carol says they don't have to listen to her bullshit.
Daryl tries to get her to leave but Alpha says not until Carol lowers her eyes to her feet. Alpha tells Carol she should fear her but Carol says she feels nothing at all. Alpha reminds her how Henry feared her before she beheaded him, causing Carol to pull out her gun and shoot. Daryl manages to hit her arm so she misses as the Whisperers draw their weapons. Michonne apologizes to Alpha for Carol's behavior and Alpha says she forgives her "mother to mother."
Later, Carol sees a Whisperer walking by the hallway and follows them. Carol enters the gymnasium and falls into a trap that catches her upside down from the ceiling. The Whisperer leads a group of walkers towards her and she takes them out while freeing herself. After killing all the walkers, Carol cuts herself down and rises up as her alarm goes off and everyone enters the room.
Back at the school, one of the Whisperers is among the corpses and wakes up reanimated.
At the Whisperer camp, Gamma reports to Alpha that she needs another guardian. A Whisperer then demands that instead of using more walkers for slower strategies, they should release their herd on the communities. Alpha allows the group to vote but nobody agrees with the Whisperer. She suddenly cuts his leg and he collapses. When he tries to strike, she slices his arm and then hands the knife to Beta to finish the job.
Back in the woods, Gamma walks with the reanimated Whisperer. She starts having flashbacks to when she killed her sister and starts to stab repeatedly the Whisperer on its head. She ends up cutting herself and dropping her knife in the water. Aaron appears and throws some bandages. He introduces himself and tries to get her to do the same, but she picks up the bandage and runs off.
At their camp, Gamma confesses to Alpha that Aaron gave her gauze for her wound. Alpha shushes her and instructs her to sit, before removing Gamma's mask. They discuss sacrifices and Gamma tells her that her sacrifice was much greater, in reference to Lydia. Alpha says Aaron might be useful for her plans and they might have to wear a new mask.
Meanwhile, Negan is trotting around the woods and arrives at one of the borders. He yells to get the Whisperers' attention and starts to get surrounded by a group of walkers. As he starts smashing their heads, he is suddenly thrown to the ground by Beta. "Alright, you big ass freak, let's do this," Negan tells defiantly to Beta as he smiles.
Beta and the Whisperers escort a blindfolded Negan through the woods. He jokes about their lifestyle and says he wants to join them. Beta puts his knives to Negan's throat and says that he is too loud. Negan apologizes and introduces himself, before explaining he has been a prisoner of Alexandria for eight years and is willing to reveal their secrets. Beta relents and gags Negan as they continue their walk.
At the Whisperer camp, Alpha and Beta argue over what to do with Negan. Alpha wants to test him, while Beta wants to kill him. Alpha notes that Beta has been questioning her rather often lately and asks if he is finally challenging her. Beta kneels in submission and vows that he will never challenge her. Alpha forgives him as Negan smiles nearby. Later, Negan mocks Beta's relationship with Alpha and jokes that he is attracted to her baldness.
In the woods, Beta forces Negan to do a series of tasks, like digging graves, skinning walkers, and help hunt a boar to prove his worth. Back in their camp, Beta tells Negan that he has not earned the right to eat with them and throws him to the ground. Negan collects himself and sits with another Whisperer who shares some food with him.
Beta and Negan walk among one of their herds in the woods as his final task. When Negan starts making jokes again, Beta tells him he'll never be one of them because he's too loud and egotistical. "I'm not here for you, I'm here for Alpha," Negan says. Beta kills a Whisperer in response and walks away, leaving Negan to fend for himself with a pocket knife.
The next morning, Beta returns to the camp and tells Alpha that Negan died because he was weak. Suddenly, a blood-covered Negan arrives demanding a skinsuit for himself with an extra measure because of his humongous balls. He kneels and introduces himself to Alpha. "I'm all in, whatever you want, whatever I got, it's yours", Negan tells her. Alpha leans down to sniff him and shushes him to signal she approves.
Daryl and Carol escorts the captured Whisperer inside the cell in Alexandria. Outside, Carol questions Lydia about their new prisoner and she reveals he is one of the Whisperers in charge of herding the walkers. Carol also asks if he knows where Alpha's horde is and Lydia reckons that he does. Gabriel marches over and scolds Carol for risking the safety of the community with the hostage. He then orders that the Whisperer's wounds be treated first and demands to be present during the interrogation.
Back in the cell, Siddiq and Dante arrive to tend to the Whisperer's wounds. After he is ordered by Dante not to try anything, the Whisperer tells Siddiq he remembers him from the barn and starts to taunt him. Siddiq becomes nervous so Dante suggests him to head outside. As he leaves, Siddiq looks at the pointed spikes on the stairs and has a flashback to Alpha brutally decapitating D.J. in front of him.
Meanwhile, Aaron and Gamma meet at one of the borders on a bridge. She questions how his community is full of supplies like bread. He offers her some but she turns him down. Gamma then notices a drawing by Gracie in his bag and he reveals he has a daughter. She is surprised to hear that they have children in the community and explains that children hold you back. When Aaron asks about siblings, Gamma lies and tells him she's an only child. Back in Alexandria, Carol brings the Whisperer a tray with a sandwich and offers him any flavor he wants as well as having salted fish for lunch. When she says she just wants to talk, the Whisperer refuses so she just hands him the bread. He slowly starts to eat it before being overcome with emotion. Suddenly, he spits it all out onto Carol's face.
Carol presses her finger in the Whisperer's wound, demanding to know where the horde is. When the Whisperer implies that he would rape her if they were out in the wild, Carol puts on her ring and punches him repeatedly in the face. "You're all weak," he tells them in response. Daryl pulls out a knife and threatens to cut off his fingers, ears, and teeth. The Whisperer says they are lying to themselves and he wouldn't betray Alpha because she loves her people so much she sacrificed her own daughter.
At the bridge, Aaron tells Gamma she can keep the drawing and tries to ask about her past. When she doesn't answer, he calls her out for digging for intel and thinks he should be doing the same. He then opens up about his younger brother and tries for her to the same. Before she can give in, Gamma leaves while repeating the Whisperer motto to herself.
Back in the cell, the Whisperer is shaking and talking to himself. As the group enters the cell to help him, he starts convulsing and spits up blood onto Dante's shoulder before succumbing to the poison and dying on the floor. Siddiq then finds a jar of hemlock in the medical backpack and accuses Dante of killing him. However, Dante lies and says he was responsible for packing it.
Elsewhere, Gamma weeps to herself when a walker suddenly attacks her and she manages to kill it. She is then shocked to see Alpha standing nearby waiting. Alpha questions her about Aaron and Gamma says she learned his name and that he has a daughter. Alpha wonders if she asked about her sister's child but Gamma swears she didn't. Alpha then tells her to remove her mask and proceeds to whip her arm so she can remain strong. She goes on to tell Gamma that Aaron is tempting her with lies and she shouldn't be seduced.
In the cell, Daryl prevents the Whisperer from reanimating and Gabriel offers to help him hide the body. That night, Gamma meets with Aaron again. She hands him back Gracie's drawing and when he reaches for it, she grabs him from behind and puts a knife to his neck to question him. Suddenly, Carol emerges from the woods with her arrow pointed as Lydia also arrives. Gamma panics to see Lydia alive and runs off into the woods. Carol tries to explain to Lydia that Alpha lied to the Whisperers about killing her but Lydia compares her to Alpha. She then says she chooses her own side and hits Carol with her staff before crossing into the border as well. Nearby, Gamma has a breakdown and cries.
Back in Alexandria, Siddiq gazes out the window in his house. Dante arrives to comfort him. He explains that everything is going to be okay because Alexandria is a special place, before declaring that Siddiq is his friend. He then starts clicking his tongue, which triggers Siddiq back to the beheadings and makes him realize that Dante was the Whisperer forcing him to watch as his friends were killed. They soon start fighting in the room as Siddiq tries to reach for a machete. Dante tackles him to the ground and puts him in a chokehold. "I didn't want this! Not you! Not like this. Close your eyes... Close your eyes," Dante tells Siddiq in sorrow as he chokes him harder until he falls dead.
In a flashback, Alpha and Dante are standing at the pike border. She assures him that nothing from his past or his short time with the Whisperers matters. After commending his actions in the barn, Alpha gives him the mission to spy on Alexandria in return for a special place among the Whisperers once their enemies are destroyed. Dante follows her instructions and wanders the wilderness until he finds a group of survivors. He pretends to need help from walkers and joins them. A short time later, they arrive at Alexandria. He then spends the next four months leaving hidden notes with intel on a tree for Alpha to find and sabotaging the community by painting the "Silence the Whispers" graffiti, bending the lever of the water valve, and suffocating Cheryl to death.
In the present, Dante sits with Siddiq's dead body and thinks about what he has done. He grabs a knife to put him down but is interrupted by a knock on the door. Rosita enters with Coco to check on Siddiq. A suspicious Dante lies about his whereabouts as Siddiq starts to reanimate. When Dante reveals his knife, Rosita slowly backs away and puts Coco into a bathtub. He tackles her to the ground and starts choking her as a reanimated Siddiq walks over to his crying daughter. Before Coco can be harmed, Rosita stabs Dante in the chest, puts down Siddiq, and then brutally beats Dante until he is knocked unconscious. She then picks up Coco and cries as she looks at Siddiq's dead body.
The next day, Gamma meets Aaron at the border on the bridge again and asks if the baby that was left to die outside Hilltop is still alive. When she reveals he is her nephew, Aaron says he was rescued by a family and is named Adam. She offers him information in exchange for seeing Adam. Before accepting any type of deal, Aaron makes her take off her mask and to tell the truth. She obeys and reveals her real name to be Mary.
In Alexandria, Daryl punches Dante in the infirmary where he is interrogated. When Gabriel demands to know why he killed Siddiq, Dante insists that he had no choice since it wasn't part of the plan. Carol asks what his plan was and Dante confesses he was sent there to stir paranoia and force them into bad decisions. When he says he's looking forward to them arguing over what to do with him as they did with Negan, Rosita kicks him in the back and leaves as Aaron arrives.
Later on, Gabriel visits an imprisoned Dante at the cell and asks if he even had a son like he said in his videotape interview. When Dante says it doesn't matter, Gabriel walks into the cell and admits to being deeply saddened by the loss of Siddiq, whom he loved like a brother, and because of his death Coco won't ever meet her father. After Dante asks whether people deserve a second chance, Gabriel appears to agree but then pulls out a knife and brutally stabs him to death. He then screams in a rage and cries into his blood-covered hands. Afterwords, Gabriel burns Dante's body when Rosita approaches and puts her head on his shoulder. They reconcile and watch the scene.
The next morning, the group arrives at the location of the horde in a clearing only to find it's empty. Alpha somehow changes her horde's hiding location to a cave after being uncertain of Gamma's loyalty. Later that day, she purposely attracts Carol's attention from across a clearing and runs into the woods to lure the Coalition group inside the building where they fall into the cave below and become trapped with the horde.
Daryl, Carol, Aaron, Jerry, Connie, Kelly, and Magna recover from the fall in the cave where they are trapped by an enormous horde. Alpha, with a torch in her hand, looks at them from the top and Carol shouts at her in anger. Alpha leaves the cave, ordering the Whisperers to not let them escape. She drops the torch and walks away, putting her mask on.
Back in the Whisperers' camp, Alpha informs Beta and Gamma that their enemy has crossed the border and they were heading to the National Park where the horde was located. Beta says they've underestimated them so Alpha assumes that they've sent spies beyond the border and assigns more guards, before sending Gamma to carry a message to their spy in Alexandria. Negan watches the exchange silently.
Meanwhile, The Whisperers ambushes Magna in the cave. The group engages in a fight and kills several Whisperers, before deciding to follow the ones who escaped to find the exit.
Elsewhere the next day, Negan encounters Alpha at the camp's latrine where he tells her about a possible traitor among them, and suggests that it may be Gamma. Alpha holds a knife to his crotch and tells him not to sow paranoia in the camp, warning if he’s wrong she’ll cut his balls off. She then tosses him into her bathroom ditch and leaves.
At Whisperers' camp, Alpha asks Beta about Gamma's whereabouts. He notices she didn't make it to the border, so he's sent four scouts to help her in case she gets caught by the traitor. Alpha implies that Gamma is the traitor and wants Beta to track her down and bring her to the camp alive so she can kill her in front of the whole pack.
Back in the Whisperers' camp, Alpha takes Negan deep in the forest. When they stop, she orders him to undress. Negan, thinking Alpha's about to kill him, admits the power he had over the Saviors turned him into a monster. Surprisingly, he turns around to find Alpha fully naked. She says he deserves a crass reward for detecting the spy. Negan's amused because she will keep her mask on and wonders if she'll decapitate him like a female praying mantis afterwards, but doesn't receive any answers. He says he'll take his chances and the two kiss.
Later on, the cave begins collapsing while Jerry holds a beam to allow the others to escape. Kelly and Aaron make it to the surface and kill some Whisperers. Connie runs back to find Daryl and Carol, forcing Magna to follow her. They find them and help them escape but encounter more Whisperers coming from behind. Magna and Connie stay back and kill several Whisperers to protect Jerry, but he cannot hold the log anymore and leaves through the hole. The rest of the dynamite immediately explodes and the cave implodes, trapping Magna and Connie inside.
Beta walks through a field in the forest and enters a moldy RV where two other Whisperers open a latch, revealing a deep pathway entrance to a tunnel. He jumps down, lights a lantern and starts to move forward, deeper into the cave. Meanwhile in Alexandria, Gamma arrives at the gate and is immediately surrounded at spear-point by the guards. She removes her mask and explains that the Coalition group is trapped in a cave surrounded by Alpha's horde and that they may be still alive and needing help. Gabriel questions her intentions, pointing out the horde wasn't where she told Aaron it would be. Gamma argues that Alpha had moved it and insists that she wants to help, explaining that the baby left at Hilltop is her nephew and she is willing to show them the location of the cave to see him again. Gabriel seems to believe Gamma's story, but Rosita knocks her unconscious and orders for her to be put in a cell.
In the woods, Daryl secretly observes a Whisperer walking around another entrance to the cave. He prepares to attack, but retreats after Alpha walks out and starts to lead the horde. Back in Alexandria, Mary wakes up in the cell. Gabriel and Rosita confront her about Dante's actions, but Mary claims she wasn't involved in that. They say she has to prove she's different from the other Whisperers or be killed. When Gabriel insists she is hiding something and calls for a sincere confession, Mary tearfully reveals she killed her sister for Alpha, which makes Gabriel accept her help.
Meanwhile, Alpha and some Whisperers continue to lead walkers through a river. Suddenly, a Whisperer is hit in the leg by a knife and is devoured after he screams in pain. Alpha orders her group to spread out when Daryl appears from behind and kills the remaining Whisperers before facing Alpha. They engage in a brutal fight where Alpha slices his face under the eyes, worsening his vision. Daryl thrusts a tree branch in her shoulder and yells for Magna and Connie's whereabouts. The fight draws nearby walkers' attention and Daryl is forced to take them out while dealing with his clouded vision. Alpha grabs a knife on the floor and stabs him in the leg as they flee the scene.
In the meeting hall, Mary stands before the map and tells everything she knows about the cave and its entrances. She explains that most of Alpha's forces are situated around the cave, so the borders are defenseless. When Mary's once again taken away, Gabriel proposes to Laura and Scott to send two rescue teams just before Rosita again doubts the authenticity of her words. He insists Mary is telling the truth because they broke her and encourages them to capture any Whisperer and pull their teeth or take their fingers if necessary in order to get them to drop the act.
That night, Beta crawls out from Cheryl's grave and unsheathes his double blades before walking stealthily through the community. He slaughters several survivors in their homes and then sits down to meditate as he waits for his victims to reanimate. On the road, Gabriel and his scout team find the soldiers from Echo Post murdered and realize the Whisperers forced them to give false information about the herd so they would leave Alexandria and weaken the inner defense. Back in Alexandria, all the residents killed by Beta turn into walkers and roam the streets.
While Rosita and the other soldiers deal with the undead, Beta enters the basement and opens the cell as Mary claims that Alpha lied about Alexandria. He ignores her and tells her to go with him without hesitation, ensuring her death will be painless. She moves forward and states she's not afraid of him as Laura appears from behind and threatens Beta with an ax, telling Mary to get help. Outside, Judith tells Mary to come inside her house for safety. In the cell, Laura jumps on Beta to prevent him from leaving but he overpowers her and slams her back against the cell door twice, killing her. Beta comes out on the street and enters the Grimes' residence to investigate. He tries to enter the children's room, only to get shot in the chest by Judith. Mary tells her and R.J. to run to another room as she checks on Beta.
Beta suddenly grabs her foot and knocks her down. He then checks his bulletproof vest before Rosita draws his attention. They battle with their weapons until Beta slashes both of her arms and gets her on the ground. Before he can kill her, Mary tells him to stop or she'll kill herself, saying she knows Alpha wants her alive. Shortly after, Beta escorts Mary back to the camp when they are ambushed by the Alexandrians, forcing him to flee into the woods. She falls to her knees and tries to convince Gabriel she hasn't betrayed them. He hesitates but ultimately believes her.
Back at the gas station, Alpha and Daryl lie injured and bleeding out. She takes off her mask and starts a speech about light and darkness, stating that she's grateful for everyone who's made her strong. Daryl tells her she drove Lydia away because she didn't love her. Alpha gets angry and tries to approach him, but faints due to the exhaustion. She briefly awakes and sees Lydia standing over her. Alpha wonders if she's real and starts to sing a lullaby while placing her daughter's hands on the knife above her heart, saying she's ready to lead the Whisperers after her death. Lydia tearfully declines to kill her mother and says she blames her for not letting her live a normal life like she always wanted.
The following morning, Alpha wakes up alone and sees the words "Your way is not the only way" carved into a workbench with her knife. She stares at the inscription in frustration, before starting to laugh evilly. In Alexandria, Scott reports to Gabriel that Beta infiltrated Alexandria through Cheryl's grave which connected to a tunnel system.
Back at the gas station, Alpha is surrounded and has her wounds tended to by some Whisperers. She stands up and promises to get revenge on the communities with their horde while pronouncing the Whisperers' anthem, officially declaring the war.
In the woods, Beta uses his knives to remove the bark from the nearby trees in order to extract sap, which is being harvested by the Whisperers. Meanwhile, Alpha hands Negan a branch and orders him to whip her arm, before she does the same to him. Later, the Whisperers march with their horde. Beta chants "We are the end of the world", and the other Whisperers follow. Alpha continues the chant by saying "We take them all", as Negan marches beside her, now equipped with his very own Whisperer mask.
Out in the woods, Negan approaches Alpha and proposes that she gets Alexandria and Hilltop to surrender instead of destroying them, thus adding their populations to the Whisperers' ranks. Alpha asks him to elaborate. Felix and Penny are instructed by Yumiko to scout the nearby area and radio back as soon as they spot the Whisperers. Unfortunately while scouting, the pair are captured and hanged by the Whisperers. Their reanimated corpses are discovered by the caravan Daryl is leading at a roadblock created by Negan.
Later, the Whisperers attack Hilltop with the horde to lead them. The shield-wielding survivors reinforce the makeshift barbed wire fence, while the melee weapon-wielding survivors start taking out the walkers. The archers, meanwhile, stay in the back and rain arrows on the herd. Behind the herd, Beta commands the Whisperers to launch the sap they collected earlier using makeshift catapults into the front lines, drenching most of the defenders as well as the Hilltop's walls. This is followed by the Whisperers launching fire-arrows into the front lines, setting one unfortunate Hilltop resident ablaze. Behind the Whisperer lines, Negan is puzzled, since he thought Alpha wanted the survivors to join them. Alpha assures Negan that they will, as part of her horde, much to his bemusement. With no choice, the defenders begin to retreat towards the Hilltop, but are trapped when the Whisperers launch another volley of fire-arrows into the Hilltop's walls, setting the community ablaze.
The Whisperer attack on the Hilltop continues with several Whisperers being killed, including one that tries to attack Judith from behind. Though the Coalition manages to hold their own at first against the Whisperer horde, they are ultimately forced to retreat by a combination of Hilltop's defensive wall falling and allowing the horde past their defenses and the fact that Hilltop is on fire.
The morning after the attack, the Whisperers walk amongst the ruins, killing any survivors they find, but purposefully leaving their brains intact so that their former enemies will become part of the horde. However, Alpha is not pleased as Lydia has not been found and Beta promises to locate Lydia for her while ordering Negan to gather more walkers. However, while out looking, Beta encounters Mary who had used herself as bait to draw a small herd of walkers away from her nephew, Alden and Kelly. Beta brutally stabs Mary to death, but she rips his mask in the process, causing Beta to kill a Whisperer who saw his face and recognized him. After Mary reanimates, Beta attempts to take her back to be part of the horde, but she is put down with an arrow by Alden, forcing Beta to flee his attack.
Having captured Lydia in the woods, Negan reveals his discovery to Alpha who intends to kill her daughter and make her apart of the horde so that Lydia will always be with her. However, the shed Negan leads Alpha to proves to be empty while Negan has stashed Lydia elsewhere. Negan slits Alpha's throat, killing her. Negan later delivers Alpha's severed zombified head to Carol who comments that it took him long enough, revealing that Negan and Carol were working together to take down Alpha.
Alpha's zombified head is found by Beta, Rufus and another Whisperer on one of the pikes at the border, having been left there by Carol as a form of revenge. After Rufus calls Beta the new Alpha, Beta forces the man to "listen" to Alpha by removing his mask and forcing Beta close enough for Alpha to bite off his ear while the other Whisperer runs. After arriving near the Grand Hotel, Beta kills Rufus and leaves him to be devoured by a walker while using his old music to draw a massive herd to the hotel.
After Negan tries to prove to Daryl he is telling the truth by bringing him to Alpha's severed head, they are confronted by three Whisperers led by the one who ran away earlier. As Negan killed Alpha, the Whisperers bow down to him as the new Alpha. Enjoying himself briefly, Negan suddenly kills the Whisperers and saves Daryl, subsequently explaining that he did enjoy working with Alpha, but she took it too far by targeting innocent people and children.
In the morning, filled with new purpose, Beta puts Alpha's reanimated head down and uses part of her face to repair his ripped walker mask. Beta then begins leading the massive herd he had gathered using his old music.
Beta and the Whisperers have finally brought the horde to Alexandria, but find it seemingly empty. Meanwhile, as the horde is rampaging through Alexandria, Beta observes from the base of the windmill. While discussing their next move with the other Whisperers, Beta hears a voice in his head mocking the survivors. He informs the other Whisperers they will continue towards Oceanside. Unbeknownst to him, he is being watched from the upper floor of the windmill by Alden, who communicates information to Aaron via sign language. Beta nearly spots Alden, but ultimately decides to move on.
Beta is seen leading the horde towards Oceanside, but suddenly stops as he senses that something is wrong. He complains that the survivors are not fools, and begins to suspect that they are being led into a trap. Another Whisperer tries to reassure Beta, but in doing so, accidentally calls him "Alpha". Despite her remorse, Beta prepares to kill the Whisperer, but is halted by the voice in his head. Beta asks the voice to show him the path, but it urges him to be patient and have faith in his strength. With that, Beta continues forward with the horde.
The Whisperer that Beta nearly killed is later seen leading a small group of walkers. Daryl shoots the Whisperer with his crossbow, injuring her. As the Whisperer runs off, Daryl and Judith dispatch the walkers and quickly give chase. Daryl and Judith track down the injured Whisperer to a small ditch. The Whisperer begs Daryl to pull the arrow out of her shoulder, not wanting to die in that manner. Daryl orders her to drop the knife and asks where the rest of the Whisperers are. She quickly reveals their whereabouts, but also that she was going off on her own. When asked why, she claims to have had no choice, revealing that Beta lost his mind after the survivors killed Alpha.
Finally, Daryl asks if the Whisperers know the survivors' location, but the Whisperer doesn't know, although she assures Daryl that Beta will keep coming for them. Daryl proceeds to aim his crossbow at the Whisperer's head, as the latter pleads that she wants to "walk after". Daryl repeats his previous question, but the Whisperer genuinely doesn't know. With that, Daryl shoots the Whisperer in the head.
At the helm of the horde, Beta talks to himself and continues to hear the voice in his head. Just then, he spots a cat crossing the road. The voice now manifests itself into a walker marching next to Beta, who tells him that faith will be rewarded. Beta deviously chuckles. Shadowing the horde, Aaron and Alden notice it changing direction, so try to call it in. Failing to get a signal, they decide to retreat, but before they can do so, they are surrounded by a group of Whisperers, one of which holds them at gunpoint. Beta has finally reached the Tower with the horde. He begins to chant, and hallucinates the walkers doing so, too.
The Whisperers will appear in this episode.
- Beta (De-Facto Leader/Former Second-in-Command)
- Whisperer 16
- Whisperer 18
- Whisperer 3 (Lookout)
- Whisperer 8
- Whisperer 4
- Whisperer 15
- Alpha (Former Leader)
- Whisperer 13
- Whisperer 14
- Dante (Spy)
- Whisperer 11 (Herd Supervisor)
- Whisperer 12 (Hunter)
- Whisperer 10
- Whisperer 9
- Whisperer 7
- Whisperer 6 (Tracker)
- Whisperer 5
- Whisperer 2 (Guard)
- Whisperer 1
- Over 100 unnamed members
This list shows the victims the Whisperers have killed:
- Paul Rovia (Alive)
- Hilde (Off-Screen)
- Miles (Off-Screen)
- Martin (Alive)
- Casper (Alive)
- Ozzy (Alive)
- Alek (Alive)
- D.J. (Alive)
- Frankie (Alive)
- Tammy Rose Sutton (Alive)
- Rodney (Alive)
- Adeline (Alive)
- Enid (Alive)
- Tara Chambler (Alive)
- Henry (Alive)
- Frances (Caused)
- Siddiq (Alive)
- Alfred (Alive)
- Alexandria Guard (Alive)
- Panicked Woman (Alive)
- Felix (Alive)
- Penny (Alive)
- Mary (Alive)
- Chanting Whisperer
- Earl Sutton (Caused, Alive)
- Rufus (Caused)
- Alpha (Zombified)
- 6 horses
- 7 unnamed Whisperers (3 Alive, 3 Caused, 1 Alive and Zombified)
- 4 unnamed camp survivors
- 1 boar
- 1 chicken
- At least 11 unnamed Alexandria residents (8 Alive, 2 Off-Screen, 1 Direct, Directly or Indirectly Caused)
- Several unnamed Coalition members
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- Whisperer 1
- Whisperer Guard
- Bitten Whisperer (Alive and Zombified)
- Whisperer Warrior
- Whisperer Tracker
- Whisperer 9 (Alive)
- Whisperer 10 (Alive and Zombified)
- Whisperer Archer
- Captured Whisperer
- Begging Whisperer
- Mary (Alive and Zombified)
- Chanting Whisperer
- Alpha (Alive and Zombified)
- Shotgun Whisperer
- Dark Haired Whisperer
- At least 63 unnamed Whisperers
- The Whisperers are the first group of antagonists to kill a main character during their first on-screen reveal.
- A first glimpse of the Whisperers can be seen at the end of the Season 9 San Diego Comic-Con Trailer being part of a herd, one of them is heard "whispering".
- "Whispering" is their way of communicating while walking among the dead, it's a slow, drawn out, groaning speech pattern. They sound like walkers would, if walkers could talk.
- As seen in "Adaptation", their disguises have the same flaw as the walker guts trick: they fool the walkers unless the Whisperers do something that draws attention to themselves such as one Whisperer screaming when Daryl shoots him in the leg. The real walkers promptly turned on the Whisperer as they would someone covered in walker guts who drew attention to themselves. This would explain their need to use whispering to communicate with each other as they might otherwise draw the attention of the walkers they hide amongst.
- When asked about the look of the Whisperers in the TV Series, Greg Nicotero said the following: "We looked at the comic book and in that they look like their faces are melting. They have added weight to them but we didn't really want to do that but there's no digital augmentation to the Whisperers." He added: "They're really cool and I stand on set and take photos all the time but you can't take a bad picture of them. We built the brow just far enough down the mask that it makes a shadow over the eyes and when they stand there they look creepy."
- The Season 3 episode "Clear" contains a scene that foreshadows the Whisperers:
- Morgan Jones, in a deluded rant, screams to Rick Grimes about "People wearing dead people's faces!".
- It has been confirmed by the Chief Content Officer of the franchise, Scott Gimple, that this line was totally accidental and a coincidence. "That definitely predated my knowledge of the Whisperers, because they were not at all in the book yet.", Gimple said. "Maybe that could wind up being a reference."
- However as of "We Are the End of the World" and with the Whisperers' being revealed to have formed 3-4 years into the apocalypse, it's clear that Morgan was not referring to them.
- They refer to themselves as a pack.
- They are also referred to as skin-jobs or skins by the other survivors.
- Unlike their comic book counterpart, the Whisperers in the TV Series apparently do not engage in rape/sexual assault of their female members, or at the very least it doesn't appear to be as common or widespread.