'Walking Dead' Season 9 Spoilers: Who Are the Highwaymen? Villain Explained
The dead aren’t the immediate threat to the survivors’ — and their communities’ — survival on The Walking Dead. Humans are, especially now, with the introduction of Alpha and the Whisperers (who go around wearing the skin of walkers) and a new threat to the Kingdom, just as the fair is about to begin.
A sneak peek for Season 9 Episode 13 provides answers about a new symbol seen two episodes prior and what it means for Carol and Ezekiel’s community.
Light spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 13 below.
In Season 9 Episode 11, members of the Kingdom passed a sign with a mysterious symbol on the back of it on their way home from a supply mission. Fans immediately began wondering if it could be connected to the Whisperers, perhaps marking their territory.
“We will learn who is attached to that sign at some point soon,” Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired. “It does play into the season story is what I’ll say.”
“Soon” means Episode 13, as a sneak peek (above) reveals who’s behind it: a group called The Highwaymen.
“The roads surrounding the Kingdom belong to us,” Ezekiel reads from a note. “All visitors attempting to travel to your fair will be turning back unless you pay our toll.”
The letter includes the group’s terms (a list of goods) and a map with instructions.
The Kingdom needs the fair, Ezekiel reminds the others. They’re low on food and supplies, which means that they can’t pay the toll. The fair is their “last chance,” according to Carol, and they have to keep the roads safe for those coming to the Kingdom. Ezekiel orders the others to gather every fighter they can spare. Will that be enough?
But who are the Highwaymen? Carol knows they can’t be a rogue group of Saviors led by Jed since she killed them.
The midseason trailer (below) may have hinted at this group’s introduction and even showed one of them. Though the focus was on the Whisperers, the video also includes Carol’s line about the fair being their “last chance” — after a stranger walks by Jerry at the event.
Is this man (pictured below) the leader of the Highwaymen? Could he use the fair to sneak into the Kingdom? Why else show him in the midseason trailer if he doesn’t play an important role?
The Kingdom clearly needs this fair to go off without a hitch, which is why it won’t. Fans of the comics know that the event includes the murders of several key characters, including Ezekiel, and the Whisperers put their heads on pikes. Whether or not it plays out the same in the TV show has yet to be seen.
If it does, it’s understandable to worry about the future of the Kingdom. Can it survive without its leader? In the comics, one of the community members, William, takes over after Ezekiel’s death.
On the TV show, however, Carol is Ezekiel’s Queen, and she can more than handle the responsibility of being its leader — if she wants to take that position, but as long as she’s alive, I can’t see her letting the Kingdom fall.
The Walking Dead Season 9 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Related video: The Survivors Face the Whisperers in The Walking Dead Midseason Trailer