Can Zombies Talk on ‘The Walking Dead’?

AMC

If you watched The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 6 tonight, then you might have been caught by surprise by the way the episode ended. And no, you weren’t imagining things. But can zombies aka walkers really talk on The Walking Dead? 

First, a quick explanation that doesn’t spoil anything beyond Season 9 Episode 6: 

YES you did hear walkers talking at the end of the episode. And clearly Eugene heard it too. In between growls, the walkers were clearly asking questions like “Where are they?” The zombies said “Where are they?”, “They must be close” and “Don’t let them get away.” It was a little tough to understand because the words were hidden among growls and said at a whisper level. But yes, those words were said. It will be interesting to hear Eugene and Rosita report back to Alexandria about what happened. Clearly they’ve never encountered this before.

Of course, if it hadn’t been for Eugene making some calculated mistakes, they wouldn’t have heard this at all. The walkers were approaching as a herd when Eugene was up in the water tower. He probably should have just stayed up there until they passed, rather than trying to climb down the long ladder super fast and injuring his knee, and then endangering Rosita’s life too.

NEXT, a few clues you might have noticed from today’s episode without spoiling exactly what’s happening. 

You may have noticed that the walkers seem almost “healthier” than you might expect. Shouldn’t they all be rotting by now, after all these years? And aren’t there more walkers than you would expect by this time? Hmmmm…

If you don’t want spoilers, don’t search for too much on this topic. This also happened in the comics, so comic readers know what’s going on.

Have the walkers acted differently or “smarter” before? 

There have been other times on the show when walkers appeared to act differently and viewers weren’t sure how to take it. In Season 3 Episode 12, called “Clear,” Morgan tells Rick something about hearing walkers talking to him. Scott Gimple later said that he didn’t even know about Kirkman’s plan for the comics yet when this line was delivered. But it’s possible that it will be retconned to fit into the current storyline.

In Season One, the walkers seemed a lot smarter. In one episode, a walker tried to use a rock to break a window, for example. Some might argue that incidents like this were connected to these “new” walkers we’re starting to see. However, Season One was very different from later seasons of The Walking Dead because of Frank Darabont’s involvement. He developed and executive produced the first season and part of the second season of The Walking Dead. His take on walkers diverged quite a bit from the comics and he made them smarter than the source material.

So can zombies talk on The Walking Dead? MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW for the season and what was going on with the zombies.

YOU ARE WARNED. 

The short answer is no, walkers can’t talk in The Walking Dead universe and they haven’t suddenly gotten stronger. What you’re seeing in this episode is very different.

In fact, these aren’t zombies at all, but a different scenario entirely called The Whisperers.

If you want to know more than that, just Google the term. Comic readers know exactly what’s going on.