Tales of The Walking Dead showrunner talks origin of the Whisperers

Tales of The Walking Dead has been a pleasant surprise. I was skeptical when I started the series, but lo and behold, it is giving us an entertaining new perspective on the zombie apocalypse. We know what this world turned into. But how did it start? How did different people and groups manage to survive?

Most recently, we got an episode giving us background on a character we all grew to love in The Walking Dead: Alpha, aka Dee (Samantha Morton). “Dee” is all about who Alpha was before she started wearing zombie faces over her own.

Tales of The Walking Dead showrunner Channing Powell spoke to Entertainment Weekly about pre-Alpha Dee and how the origin story of the Whisperers came to be.

Tales of The Walking Dead explores the origins of the Whisperers

Sunday night’s episode of Tales of The Walking Dead featured the franchise’s third Alpha flashback. In the past, we saw flashbacks showing what Dee was like as a wife and mother and later how she met Beta (Ryan Hurst). Now we’re learning that she did not, in fact, create the Whisperers.

The episode features Dee and her daughter Lydia (Scarlett Blum) living on a steamboat. As the episode chugs along, we see how Dee begins to give in to her dark side, and it’s pretty awesome. I always love seeing a character’s progression from who they once were to what we know they will become.

At the end of the episode, Dee and Lydia are approached by the group we know as the Whisperers. I loved finding out that Dee is not the one who formed this group, but rather was brought into it. The final shot of the episode is Dee as Alpha as she approaches Hera’s head and says, “That was the end of Dee. And the beginning of me. And then I met you. And you showed me love.”

Hera was one of the Whisperers that approached Dee and Lydia at the end of the episode, but we see the scene cut to Alpha standing in front of Hera’s severed head…so what gives?! How did things progress to that point?

Tales of the Walking Dead sets up more mysteries about the Whisperers

“Alpha is so specific to her world and so entrenched in it, so I wanted to put her in a world that was completely alien to her,” Powell said. “I really like fish out of water stories. I really like watching characters have to adapt to a situation that they’re not comfortable with or not used to. So we tried to think of, ‘What would be the oddest place that we could put Alpha that’s not in a Whisperers camp?’ And we came up with a boat.”

If you’re like me you were probably wondering when exactly this story took place. “Yeah, it’s neatly tucked in there,” Powell said. “And then, for the larger mythology, should everything work out and we ever film with actors’ schedules aligning, we do have her meeting Beta right after this story.” Oh, yes, bring back Ryan Hurst, please!

As for how Hera factors into all this, Powell could only give hints. “Obviously, that is the origin of the Whisperers story. And they do take Dee and Lydia into their community, which is different actually from the Whisperer camps that Alpha turns the Whisperers into,” she said. “Their community is very different. Their community is a little bit more human than the way Alpha runs the Whisperers. And Hera is a really compelling, interesting lead in somebody that Dee is very, very intrigued by — not just in terms of her being a leader, but in terms of her being a potential romantic interest.”

I think we need a Hera episode, ya’ll! Hopefully, if Tales of The Walking Dead gets another season, we’ll learn more about Hera and how she played a part in Dee turning into Alpha. And of course, how she went from leading the group to being decapitated.

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Tales of The Walking Dead airs new episodes every Sunday on AMC and AMC+.