The much-anticipated first episode of the extended 10th season of The Walking Dead finally dropped on Sunday night. Already, viewers knew that it would be a Maggie-centric installment as well as seeing the introduction of the Reapers.
This new group — or a single member of them — had tracked Maggie (Lauren Cohan) all the way from her prior location to the gathering of communities that she had previously survived the zombie apocalypse with. However, according to The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang, this antagonistic group was originally planned to be introduced in Season 11.
The Reapers appeared earlier than expected in The Walking Dead
Season 10C is a bonus six episodes that were added by AMC after the coronavirus pandemic caused the shutdown of filming on TV and movie sets. These extra episodes all center around existing characters and delve further into their stories.
While this makes it look like the Reapers may have been a last-minute addition, Kang recently told Insider that that simply wasn’t the case.
“The Reapers were part of our plan for Season 11,” Kang explained.
“We wound up introducing this element when we were sort of working on the Season 10 extension episodes. It gave us a chance to kind of show a piece of story that we were going to skip over.”
Judging by this statement, it looked like AMC planned to bounce straight into the Commonwealth story that has commenced with the introduction of Stephanie. It also insinuated that viewers may not have found out as much about this group prior to the introduction of Season 10C.
The Walking Dead: Who are the Reapers?
With the Whisperers only just out of the equation, viewers are already trying to work out who this new group is.
Just with the airing of Episode 17 on Sunday night, the assumption can be made that the Reapers are some sort of group that has either extensive hunting or military background.
The single member of the Reapers who was tracking Maggie’s group dressed in a ghillie suit in an effort to blend into the landscape. He also displayed excellent tracking skills as he hunted down the group and singled them out individually.
Then, when he was finally captured by Maggie and Daryl (Norman Reedus), he blew himself up with a grenade rather than reveal details about himself or the Reapers. Once again, this leads toward the group being military-based which adds a certain chilling aspect to the upcoming storyline.
As to why the Reapers are following Maggie remains to be seen and viewers will just have to continue watching Season 10C in order to find out more. However, already, it has been hinted that Maggie may be hiding a dark secret.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.