There is absolutely no hesitation when saying this... The first half of Season 9 has been one helluva ride!
*WARNING! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM SEASON 9A AND COMICBOOK TISBITS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!*
From the moment we thought we lost our beloved Officer Friendly to our baby Judith stepping into her father's footsteps to exploiting Negan's most haunting scene, this season has thrown us through the loops with fear, heartstring tugging and downright creepiness! The writers for The Walking Dead have done a phenomenal job revamping the show and upping the ante. And Season 9B will be even better than 9A!
Theory #1; The Whisperers
Since Negan and his band of Saviors arrived and the war concluded, fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Whisperers. I boldly state that they shouldn't have been disappointed. The first hint came in the season 8 finale when Rick and Co looked over the ridge and saw the massive swarm of walkers some miles away. The second was in the premiere of season 9 when you heard "time" as walkers neared Rick and Co as they attempted to free the wagon of muck and mud. But, the first "official" arrival was in episode 6 when Rosita and Eugene heard the walkers talking. Since then, there has been no going back. But, one thing the survivors haven't realized yet (but soon will) is the fact that The Whisperers are a group of very well thought out fighters which are led by Alpha (played by Samantha Morton) and Beta (played by Ryan Hurst). They are extremely skilled and very dangerous, and they're very methodical in their method of mayhem. This is one for only one person...Negan.
Abraham Ford's message to Rick about "this world's gonna need Rick Grimes" no doubt applied to Rick but now it applies to Negan. Negan is a master of manipulation but he's also crazy smart. Although the Whisperers are more evil and twisted, Negan can outsmart Alpha and Beta by a mile. But, he'll have to do it trickily. In the comics, he found his way in very easily. In the show, it may not be that easy. He may have to come baring gifts.
The Whisperers are no joke. They are quick on their toes and act upon impulse. Anything that moves or breathes that is NOT them, they kill. Michonne and Co are about to find that out and Daryl may take Carl's role (to an extent) with his role with Lydia and Alpha. Daryl may also be forced to team up with Negan to take the Whisperers on with the few fighters they have left because lets face it, the Whisperers numbers dwarf the survivors. The are in for a rough road ahead...
Theory #2: Will Daryl Lead Hilltop?
Daryl is easily swayed when it comes to who's right and who's wrong but he may be forced to be the very person he never wanted to be. A leader. Daryl has admitted more than once that he's a better lone wolf than to be depended on but that's possibly coming to an end with Jesus' death as well as Rick being gone and Michonne needed at Alexandria.
Seen in the preview, Daryl was making his way down to the field where Alpha and a group of Whisperers awaits his arrival more than likely to discuss Lydia's imprisonment. This makes me believe that Daryl will more than likely take over as Hilltop's leader for the time being. Daryl, whether he'll admit it or not, can be a great leader but he refuses to be one. Well, he may not have a choice. Hilltop needs someone and everyone else is gone or needed elsewhere.
Theory #3; Negan
Yes, I'm well aware that there is a large number of fans who still don't care for the man, but I need you to set aside your anger for just one minute and keep reading. Negan is needed. What the man is about to do is a task accomplishable only by him. But, that's not the only thing to bring up.
Held behind bars for seven and a half years more than light's a fire under someone's ass for revenge. He's been caged, taunted by his demons day in and day out and taunted by everyone else. The man number one deserves some revenge (to an extent) and he also deserves to prove his worth to the others. Because they started off on the wrong foot, he couldn't do that. Now, he can.
Negan's biggest thing right now is finding Lucille. Lucille is just a bat but she's more than that. Lucille was (as comic readers know) his wife who through all of his bastardly ways kept him going. So, naming the bat Lucille is a way for him to keep her memory present and to in hopes maybe honor her in some weird way. I know, doesn't really make sense to you but if you know the whole backstory you'd get it more. After he finds her, he'll probably then be tasked with The Whisperers. That's when he's really gonna shine.
Theory #4; Will The Communities Come Together?
Since the dispute about what to do with the remaining Saviors after the Savior War came to an end, the communities severed immediate ties with one another. But, will that last? I don't believe so. In the comics, all the communities rally together. And although they (the directors and writes) are known for switching things up, I don't think they'll sway too far from this. The communities need to learn how to work together again and this will be their kick into hyperdrive.
Theory #5; How close will they stay to the comics?
In The Walking Dead, the writers and showrunners are known for doing one of two things; keeping word for work with scene for scene or shaking things up like a baby on cafine. But, I think that 9B will play closest to the comic as it possibly can. While there is room for improvement, I believe that they'll stay pretty close to the comics with scenes and even verbiage. But, some major roles will probably shift. Michonne will probably take Rick's role, Daryl will probably take Maggie's role, The King and Carol will probably take Rick and Adrea's role and Henry may take Carl's role. I honestly believe that this half of the season will be the closest to the comics that it's gotten so far.
Theory #6; What do the 'X' on Michonne and Daryl's backs mean?
Although Rick's departure and question on where he's going is (probably) the biggest talk of season 9A, the 'X' scars on the backs of Michonne and Daryl's backs are definitely in lead for a close second. Many people speculate what it could be but I'm pretty positive the 'X' scar is there to remind them of Rick's injury and to never forget. Judith admitted to Michonne that she was starting to forget their voices. The X will forever be a part of their bodies and will force them to remember. I believe they will explore that in 9B.
Theory #7; Could we see a return of Rick and Maggie?
The tension between Rick and Maggie has been thick since the season 8 finale and in some cases, it started before that. But Rick's choice to let Negan live was the breaking point for her listening to Rick. So, when she saw that things weren't going to change, she decided to take action finding out that she couldn't. Now that they're both gone, is there a possibility that they could reunite togeyjer in the same place? Jesus spilt the beans so to speak about Maggie's departure with baby Hershal to help with Georgie with new community work. Is there a chance that we could see them together again? Absolutely. Back when the news broke that they were only doing 6 episodes, we all started to speculate what that could've meant. Well, they were only in 5 episodes. So I think that there could be a very good chance that we may see them together sometime this season even if it's a hint at "a bigger future" in the season 9 finale.
Theory #8; Will we see "The Commonwealth?"
Remember Georgie? A while back (in season 8) we were teased with this mysterious character. Could she be the leader of the highly effective and developed community known as The Commonwealth? I think she is. While coincidences this close usually aren't the case, i believe that this one is. Even though it was brought on a little differently, I think that they have been planting this little egg in our brain for the return/surprise appearance and reuniting of Maggie and Rick (theory 7). That would be somewhat of an ease to the fans too. But, I think they may sneak a peak at The Commonwealth and in an attempt of showing fans that Rick and Maggie are okay.
Theory #9; Oceanside
Oceanside is another hush hush thing that hasn't been seen since episode 5. We haven't seen Beatris, Rachel or even Cindy in episodes 6, 7 or 8. Why? Well this could be why; while Daryl and Maggie allowed the murder of Arat to commence, Michonne would not let something like that stand. Although the Saviors committed the act of murder, what was done was done. They had no right to pick them off one at a time like that. And, Michonne wouldn't stand for something like that. So, she may have either banished them or killed them herself... Why would she do something like that? Well, #1 she wouldn't allow that selfish act of murder to go on and #2 she was in a dark spot after Rick. So, when she wasn't thinking right, she may have acted impulsively resulting in the (possible) slaying of every Oceanside member. It's pretty harsh but the woman thought she lost the one and only thing she had left in the world...
Alright, guys! That's what I've got for you! Tell me what you think about these theories in the comments below! Do you think I'm right on or way off? Either way, let me know! Until next time.
The Walking Dead returns with brand new episodes February 10th, 2019 at 9p.m. only on AMC.
Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin