I caught up with Walking Dead earlier today (yeah I know I’m a day behind, I was watching Tokyo Drift last night and I have no regrets), and with only one episode left before the finale, one huge mystery remains: what is up with those w’s that were carved into walkers?
The mark has appeared several times now, as close as the area right around Alexandria, and as far away as Daryl and Aaron’s roaming/recruiting. The last we saw of it was on a walker tied to a tree, which seems to imply that this person wasn’t dead when she got the mark. So someone is going around carving W’s into people, and that is a mystery worth solving.
Well last night’s episode may have just revealed the answer. Here’s our leading theory.
Wolves Not Far
No matter where we go with our speculation, nothing seems like a bigger clue than this bit of graffiti that was spotted in episode 9:
It reads “wolves not far,” and in case you think it’s just a throwaway bit of set design, the same line was spotted earlier in the episode on another building as well. For whatever reason, the show is highlighting this phrase, and it’s not a big logical leap to go from “wolf” to the “w” markings carved into those walkers.
So who or what are the wolves?
Some fans think they’re the Whisperers, a group in the comics that disguises themselves with walker skin; or the Saviors, vicious bandits who terrorize Alexandria. Both of those are possible, but because they appear much, much later in the comics than where the group is right now in the show, there is a much better theory…
The most likely candidate for who’s going around carving W’s into people are a group called the Scavengers in the comics (although if this theory is true, they’ll be known as the Wolves on the show).
Why is this the leading theory?
Well on last night’s episode, Rick and Pete Anderson got into one hell of a street fight. This event also happens in the comics (spoilers for the comics!), and in this version, Pete ends up dying. Soon after, a man named Derek shows up, leading a group known as the Scavengers.
If the Scavengers end up being the Wolves, this would line the show up with the comics almost perfectly. Additionally, there’s a good reason to change the name. In the comics, Derek wants into Alexandria, and tells Rick, “little pig, little pig… Let me in.”
Get it? He’s the big, bad wolf.
If you’re going to put money on anything, expect Derek and the Wolves to show up in the season finale, setting up a big confrontation that may or may not spill over into season six (it’s an hour and a half long episode, so it might just get resolved).
Extra Spoilery Speculation
If this theory is true, then the show will need to make some adjustments for which characters are still around. Supporting this idea is the fact that the show has put all of the right people in the right places to make that happen.
In the comics, Rick and the gang are saved from the Scavenger invasion by Andrea’s sharp-shooting. Andrea’s not around anymore, but there is a character who’s been running around with a scoped rifle, and seems to be living in the lookout tower recently…
Additionally, Heath and Glenn are the ones who spot the Scavengers while on a supply run. The Scavengers then end up following the sound of the pair’s motorcycles back to Alexandria. There’s no Heath in this series, and Glenn isn’t far from the safe-zone, but again, we have another set of characters who fit the description pretty well…
Daryl and Aaron are currently far from Alexandria, investigating the mysterious W’s, and they have motorcycles. Could it get more perfect?
So here’s my theory. In next week’s episode, the Wolves will show up and attempt to take Alexandria, forcing Rick’s group and the Alexandrians to join forces to defeat them. As a result of this, the Alexandrians will probably realize what the outside world is really like now, which may set the stage for Rick becoming the leader of the community in season six.