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The Walking Dead Finally Revealed The Secret We've Been Waiting For

Contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 10, episode 14, "Look at the Flowers"

The Walking Dead is on a real tear when it comes to illuminating the series' long-held mysteries. Last week, we got our first hints about the fate of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) after his improbable escape from an exploding bridge on a CW Unit helicopter. Now, we finally have some answers about the identity of the biggest, baddest Whisperer left standing.

The identity of Beta (Ryan Hurst) has been a bizarre puzzle for fans to solve, almost dating back to the character's introduction. While we've seen most of the Whisperers outside their masks, Beta seems to live in his, never taking it off for any reason whatsoever–not even to sleep. While it's certainly a disconcerting touch, fans have long suspected that Beta might actually have good reason for being so camera shy.

As The Decider aptly points out, The Walking Dead has been dropping clues that Beta was someone famous in his life before the apocalypse for some time. Before the world fell apart and Beta slipped into his first creepy skin suit, he was obviously someone of import — someone recognizable. Was he a Kardashian? A criminal? A TikTok dance star? Speculation has run rampant, but this week we finally got official confirmation: In a previous life before the dead rose up from their graves, Beta was a popular country western singer who apparently went by the moniker "Half Moon."

Beta's identity is another small divergence from the comic

Careful viewers have picked up on a few hints about this outcome that only make sense in hindsight. Two episodes back, one of the minion Whisperers appeared to recognize the dulcet tone of Beta's voice. If Half Moon really was a famous country singer in his day, then it's pretty believable that some random dude in Virginia might pick up on it just from hearing him speak. The Whisperer was rewarded for his I.D. with a violent death, so he must have been onto something.

The entire Walking Dead franchise is inspired by the recently concluded comic series of the same name, by creators Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. The flagship TV series has always played fast and loose with its source material, and the identity of Beta is yet another somewhat arbitrary change. In the comic, Beta outlives his welcome and his arc, surviving the climactic attack on Alexandria (still forthcoming on the TV series) that the Whisperers instigate. Instead of dying in some big battle sequence, the survivors dispatch him unceremoniously in a brief scene that takes place several issues after the conclusion of the Whisperers' storyline.

Jesus and Aaron unmask Beta's hulking corpse only to discover the face of a famous NBA basketball player. Why TV series maven Scott M. Gimple decided a country music star was a better fit than a basketball player is anybody's guess, but the reveal does at least follow the comic story in kind.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9:00pm Eastern on AMC. Subscribers to AMC Premiere can catch episodes 48 hours early.