Post Mortems

The Walking Dead Showrunner Demystifies the Reapers… a Little: 'They Operate in Shadowy Ways'

the walking dead who are reapers pope angela kang interview

If Sunday’s first of The Walking Dead’s half-dozen Season 10 bonus episodes left you with more questions than answers about the Reapers, then everything is going according to executive producer Angela Kang’s plan.

“There will be a lot we reveal over time about them,” she tells TVLine, “but we wanted to leave the audience with the mystery of ‘Who is Pope, and what does it mean to be marked by him?’”

Nothin’ good, it seems safe to say. In “Home Sweet Home,” a camo-clad sniper picked off several members of Maggie’s new circle of friends before telling her, “Pope marked you,” and blowing himself to smithereens with a hand grenade. What’s more, his group — the aforementioned Reapers — apparently destroyed the community in which the Hilltop’s former leader and son Hershel had settled after they were separated from altruistic Georgie and the twins.

“There is intentionally a bit of a mystique around the Reapers,” acknowledges Kang, “because I think that’s part of the ethos of this group. They operate in shadowy ways.”

Popular on TVLine

So all we know for sure thus far is that “as a group, they clearly have some background in militaristic fighting techniques.” That, and they’re bad, bad guys. Not that they see themselves as antagonists. “Like many of our villains,” notes Kang, “I don’t necessarily think that the Reapers see themselves as the bad guys.”

What do you think of the new threat to our survivors? Formidable, yes, but as scary as, say, the Whisperers? Hit the comments with your reactions.