The Walking Dead’s official Twitter account released a teaser trailer on February 7 for the mid-Season 7 premiere, revealing that Rick and the gang are preparing for battle, thinking about the future, and going up against a gnarly, armored walker.
Supposedly, the second half of Season 7 will focus on the citizens of Alexandria gearing up for war with Negan and his Saviors as they try to convince the surrounding communities (also beleaguered by Negan) to join them. Whether or not they will is still up in the air, but it’s likely the full war won’t come into play until Season 8.
For now, the biggest question coming from this teaser is: What the hell was up with that walker? That thing is terrifying. Someone’s outfitted it with a spiked helmet and has it running around like some demented, feral porcupine in the middle of a trash heap.
Unsurprisingly, there are already some ideas about where this mad scientist creation came from.
The most likely option is that this walker is the work of what The Walking Dead fans are referring to as the “Garbage Pail Kids,” a new community to be introduced, supposedly, in Episode 10. Because yet another group of survivors is definitely what the show needs right now.
The Garbage Pail Kids are said to live in a junkyard — hence the trash pile behind the armored walker — and led by a person named Brion, per casting call rumors. Brion is, according to the call, “an educated, pokerfaced leader who has a superior air and does not let his/her motives be known,” which sounds like the kind of person who would turn walkers into metal porcupines and set them loose on intruders.
The other reigning fan theory is that this new walker is somehow connected to the mysterious, booted person who’s been following the Alexandria crew around and spying on them. This one’s a little looser and has everything to do with people getting excited about the potential, early introduction of the Whisperers from The Walking Dead’s comics. People think the booted person might be a member of the Whisperers.
Disturbingly, the Whisperers are a cult of survivors who have stayed alive by dressing up as walkers and traveling around with herds of them, undetected. They’re generally sneaky and underhanded and are actually a pretty big adversary to the Alexandria crew — but, if the writers of the show are following comics canon, then the Whisperers shouldn’t show up for awhile. And there’s really nothing definitive connecting them to the armored walker.
Find out more about the armored walker and the war to come (maybe) when The Walking Dead returns for Season 7B on February 12.