twd-villainAfter the death of Beth Greene it seems pretty certain that the group will be heading for the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Once they get there most fans have assumed the villain they will come into contact with is Negan, the man who makes The Governor look like a choirboy. In the comics the group meets Negan once they get to Washington. Negan is the leader of a group called The Saviors, and the Saviors are men who do some pretty evil things. In the comics Negan beat Glenn to death with his weapon of choice, a bat wrapped in razor wire he called Lucille. Showrunner Scott Gimple has confirmed that Negan will appear in the series. However, there are clues that indicate the next major threat the group faces won’t be Negan.

The Official Word
Robert Kirkman has said in interviews that he hasn’t worked out how to adapt Negan for the screen yet because Negan is very fond of saying a certain word that isn’t allowed on TV. So that indicates that Negan won’t be appearing in Season 5 of the show. More likely Negan will be introduced in the second half of Season 6 or maybe even Season 7. If the clues from earlier episodes are right the new threat to the group is going a group called The Whisperers.

Who Are The Whisperers
The Whisperers are a group of survivors who have created almost a type of cult. They learned the trick of covering themselves in blood and guts to go unnoticed among the walkers only they took it a step further and they actually wear the skins of dead people to avoid detection by the walkers. They also wear masks made from the faces of dead people. When they do speak it’s always in a whisper so that they don’t give away their disguises and the walkers don’t notice them. The Whisperers are quite deadly and quite creepy because they look like walkers but are actually people who can talk, hunt, and kill quite effectively without having to worry about walkers killing them.

Morgan and The Whisperers
One of the reasons why it seems likely that The Whisperers will be appearing in the second half of Season 5 is a comment that Morgan made to Rick in the Season 3 episode titled “Clear” where Rick, Michonne and Carl find Morgan when they are looking for weapons. Even though Morgan didn’t appear to be in his right mind when Rick asks Morgan if he knows who he is Morgan mentions people walking around wearing dead people’s faces, which is why he can’t believe that it’s really Rick right away. That could be a clue that Morgan has already seen The Whisperers. At the end of the mid-season finale Morgan finds Father Gabriel’s church and the map that Abraham left for Rick showing the route to take to Washington and mentioning his name, Rick Grimes, in the note at the end. When Morgan finds the map he smiles because he knows Rick is still alive and he knows where Rick is heading. There’s a strong possibility that Morgan will overtake the group on the road to the safe zone and they will encounter The Whisperers on their way to Alexandria.

Confirmation from Scott Gimple
While no one will confirm or deny rumors for the show before the episodes air Showrunner Scott Gimple has said in interviews that the second half of Season 5 is going to be very dark and very weird. All the characters are going to be dealing with major losses, especially Maggie. If they return to Hershel’s farm to bury Beth that will bring up a lot of pain and loss for the entire group. Will Maggie become suicide like she does in the comics? Only time will tell. But there’s a good chance that the weirdness Scott Gimple mentioned will be the group facing a new kind of threat in The Whisperers. The villains the group has fought in the past killed for survival, or for power. The Whisperers kill indiscriminately with an almost religious fervor that will be like nothing that the group has had to face before.