We’re about three and a half weeks out from the return of The Walking Dead for the second half of its ninth season. And when it does make a comeback, fans should be ready for the chilling new threat that the survivors will be facing. Daryl, Michonne and the rest may have fended off the likes of Negan and the Governor in the past, but they haven’t encountered anything like the Whisperers before – a creepy community who’ve taken to wearing walker skin masks to blend into the hordes of the undead.
Properly introduced in the midseason finale, “Evolution,” the Whisperers’ intentions were made clear to be hostile when one of them killed Jesus while pretending to be a typical walker. We haven’t met her yet, but the leader of these sinister folks is Alpha, as played by Fantastic Beasts‘ Samantha Morton. We’ve got a glimpse of her in previous promos, but this new motion poster from the official TWD account gives us a full look at the show’s next villain, and she’s pretty darn creepy.
The aforementioned previous promos have included an eerie one which sees Alpha donning her grotesque mask and another atmospheric one that saw her gathering the Whisperers to tell them that our heroes “do not belong” on their territory. That one also introduced us to Beta, Alpha’s number two, portrayed by Sons of Anarchy‘s Ryan Hurst.
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The Whisperers arc in the comics is one of the most popular with fans, so there’s high hopes that the TV adaptation will retain the same quality. That’s certainly the aim of showrunner Angela Kang anyways, who’s teased that there’ll be some significant changes to the story but a few tentpole moments will still be kept.
Producer Greg Nicotero has also promised that Alpha will be the best villain The Walking Dead has ever had. That’s a bold claim, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until we get to see her in action when the show returns to AMC on Sunday, February 10th.