Last season of The Walking Dead teased some kind of group called the “Wolves.”
We didn’t get a bit of resolution on this mysterious faction (or those W’s carved into walkers), but many fans speculated that they might be the show’s version of comic’s Saviors.
Who are the Saviors?
In the comics, the Saviors are a group of around 50 survivors living in the Washington D.C. area (the same region as the Alexandria Safe-Zone). They survive through extorting nearby communities, taking half of their resources in return for “protection.”
The Saviors are led by a character named Negan, who fans have been anxiously awaiting on the TV series due to his psychopathic tendencies (he has a barbed wire-wrapped bat he named Lucille), and a great story arc he introduced called “All Out War.”
If the Wolves are the show’s version of the Saviors, we might be seeing Negan and crew as early as next season.
Why is that?
When asked about Negan, showrunner Scott Gimple told EW that they already have a plan in place for the character:
“It’s absolutely a possibility. And when I say it’s a possibility, we have a plan in place, but there’s a couple variables for that plan that we’re deciding about. It really depends on a few factors as we move into setting up the last bit of the season story-wise.”
Going by this quote, my guess is that Negan and the Saviors/Wolves will provide the primary antagonists for Season 6, with the end of that season leading into the show’s version of “All Out War” in 7.
Any other evidence for this theory?
Series creator Robert Kirkman recently teased another character who might be appearing soon, one who also has big links to the Negan storyline:
“When it comes to characters like The Governor, Michonne, Abraham, and others like Jesus and Negan who are fan-favorite characters in the comics, it’s always a challenge to get it right because it’s those characters—much like Rick Grimes in the beginning—that fans already have a sense of and expectations for. So we’re always careful, and I feel like we’ve done a really good job servicing those fan expectations. Hopefully that trend will continue…if the characters you mention are to appear soon.”
In the comics, Jesus (aka Paul Monroe) is one of the leaders at a community called the Hilltop Colony. They’re one of the communities that Negan and the Saviors have been extorting for supplies (along with another group called the Kingdom, and eventually, Alexandria as well).
Jesus’s role in the comic book story is what gets Rick and his group involved with Negan, eventually leading to a huge, bloody conflict between the various communities in the D.C. area. It’s an arc that fans have been clamoring for ever since the Governor went down, and if Gimple and Kirkman’s teasing are to be believed, we might be seeing it pretty soon.
Season 6 will premiere on AMC on October 11, 2015.