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It's hard to believe that The Walking Dead's seventh season premiered 5 weeks ago. Between capsule episodes and the new thrilling threat of Negan, the season seems to be flying by. While the audience, myself included, is thoroughly enjoying the charmingly villainous Negan, the comics are still way ahead of the TV series. Believe it or not, some comic book fans are already looking forward to the next horrifying threat to Alexandria and our heroes. Namely: The Whisperers. Rumors of The Whisperers possibly appearing in Season 7 of have been floating around since The Walking Dead Instagram account posted an image that looks very similar to an iconic comic book scene. Well, now we have some answers.

Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple has recently spoke with the good folks at ComicBook.com about Season 7. When asked about The Whisperers showing up, he said the following:

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.

That's pretty cut and dry. The Whisperers are showing up one day, but not this season.

the walking dead whisperers

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that The Whisperers aren't on the radar of The Walking Dead yet. While The Saviors were present throughout the back half of Season 6, we're only just hitting the surface in regards to Negan himself. The man with the bat represents the biggest villain since The Governor, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is already part of the starring cast. We can expect this performance to extend over the course of this season, so adding another major set of villains seems like too much, too soon. It's Negan's time, and we should all enjoy every thrilling moment.

The flip side of Scott Gimple's comment is that The Whisperers could eventually show up sooner than the comic book timeline. This seems like more of a logistical move than a creative one. One can assume that Jeffrey Dean Morgan isn't intending on working on The Walking Dead indefinitely. He's largely a movie star, and movie stars generally don't love the pay cut and grueling schedule of TV. Negan is present in the comics for quite some time, but his tenure on the show might be shorter due to JDM's potential conflicts. So putting The Whisperers in the mix early might be perfect to fill the gap that a possible early Negan departure would leave.

Of course, we'll just have to wait and see. The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.