Last month, just days before The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere, AMC released a mysterious photo that featured a severed head on a spike, which many fans thought was a hint that the group known as The Whisperers will finally surface on the hit series. AMC also recently released brief synopses for upcoming episodes, where it's revealed that Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Heath (Corey Antonio Hawkins) come across a new group, which many fans have already theorized is The Whisperers. However, showrunner Scott M. Gimple revealed in a new interview that The Whisperers are coming, but not until at least the second half of Season 7.
In the Walking Dead comics, The Whisperers are a group of survivors who actually wear the skin of zombies to survive. Their first appearance in the comics was in issue 130, which is quite far away in terms of the TV series, since Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) introduction came in the 100th issue. During an interview with ComicBook.com, showrunner Scott M. Gimple revealed that the new group teased in the episode synopses is not The Whisperers, and while there's a possibility they may be introduced earlier in the TV series than their comic debut, they won't be unveiled anytime soon.
"If we've gotten this far without saying anything about them, I'd like the audience to discover this group when it's on screen. I will say ... I mean, it's not the Whisperers. I will also say, though, that it's not impossible that The Whisperers could come along or aspects of them could come along earlier than the timeline of the book, but certainly not this early."
While not much is known about what The Whisperers did before the zombie invasion, this group believes that the zombies coming to the Earth was meant to bring people back to their animalistic nature. The group is lead by a character known as Alpha, who was recently killed in the 156th issue of the comics, released this summer which closed out the 27th volume. Alpha was killed by Negan himself, after escaping from Rick's group.
In related news, you may have noticed that there have been more extended episodes than usual in Walking Dead Season 7, with last week's episode Service clocking in at 90 minutes, and both the Season 7 premiere and the third episode of this season running over its 60-minute runtime. AMC has released their schedule for the next two weeks, revealing that next week's episode, Swear, will run an extra 10 minutes over, while the following episode, Sing Me a Song, will clock in at 90 minutes. With these two episodes, it will already become the one season with the most extended episodes in the show's history. Since the episode after Sing Me A Song, Hearts Still Beating, is the mid-season finale, it's possible that could be a longer episode of The Walking Dead as well.