“The Walking Dead” wrapped up on Sunday night with many promising reveals, not the least of which was the existence of the “Wolves,” which has been teased throughout the back half of Season 5. While it looks like they’ll make a major impact on the group in Season 6, precious little is known about the strange “W” cult.
Fans got their first real look at the men behind the “W” symbols on Sunday when they confronted Morgan (Lennie James) in an attempt to rob him and, presumably, turn him into a walker. Before getting a face full of stick, one of the Wolf marauders revealed the logic behind the name.
“The first settlers in the area put bounties on wolves heads,” he explains. “They brought the natives into it, made them hunt them. It didn’t take long to kill them all. They’re back now.”
He went on to reveal that the early tribes believed the first people were wolves transformed into men, a theory they’re trying to bring to life through scavenging, murder, theft, zombie raves and incessantly carving the letter “W” into both their heads and the heads of every walker they encounter.
Prior to the attack by these two creepy gentleman, the show had seemingly countless winks to the Wolves hidden in the background. The ominous message “Wolves Not Far” can be seen in graffiti all over the palce – including Noah’s home of Shirewilt Estates where, as MoviePilot notes, it is very heavily hinted that the gang attacked the walled village and murdered everyone inside. In addition, several walkers killed near Alexandria this season sported the stylish “W” carved into their forehead.
Obviously, these villains are going to be a major problem for Rick, the group and the citizens of Alexandria in Season 6. With their presence looming so large over the show, it’s surprising how little is known about them. In these situations, fans can typically turn to the comic books for clues as to what nightmare is coming next for our heroes. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “Wolves” in the comic books – leaving the floor open to wild speculation as to what the show’s creators have in store for the next season.
While the comics don’t offer much in terms of explaining the Wolves, there’s more than one insane group of marauding bad guys that the TV show may draw inspiration from. [POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT] The first is the Whisperers, who appear much later in the comics as a faction of people that use zombie guts to disguise themselves as walkers in order to move about the world freely. While they share a common first letter with ”Wolves,” last night’s episode kind of put an end to this idea as the men that attacked Morgan only sported a “W” and not zombie bits. Still, it’s worth bringing them up because, as Bustle notes, the last time we saw Morgan he was shouting to Rick about people wearing the faces of the dead. While this could just be the ramblings of a madman, it could just as easily turn out to be deep foreshadowing.
A much more likely candidate for the Wolves from the comics is the The Scavengers. Alexandria faced its first walker threat last night when Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) left the gate open (like a jerk) and allowed three to roam about the town. In the comic books, the group faces a threat from humans who demand entry into Alexandria after the gunshot from Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to kill Pete (Corey Brill) draws them to its gates. This would make for a great opener to Season 6 as Rick’s group is now in charge. It will be nice to show them that they can do more to protect the community than just executing domestic abusers.
Still, the inclusion of the factory where the Wolves set a trap for Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) has caused many comic book fans to brace themselves for one of the worst villains since the Governor… Negan. In the comics, Negan is the leader of a group called the Saviors , which is a bit more ostentatious than “Wolves” but who are we to judge?
He runs a savage cult of brainwashed people who will do his bidding no matter how grisly things get. He goes around to communities like Alexandria and demands resources in exchange from protection, both from walkers and his own men. Together, the Saviors hold up in an old warehouse called “Sanctuary” that has security in the form of Walkers, very similarly to what was seen in the Season 5 finale. Neagan is more powerful than Rick and, believe it or not, more ruthless. By the time his storyline is finished, he’s left quite a lot of fan-favorite bodies in his wake. So, if you’re a fan of the status quo, you might want to start crossing your fingers now that the Wolves are some new invention of the series, not bound to any comic book characters.