While the entirety of The Walking Dead Episode 10 was pretty damn cool, there was certainly a stand out character for many viewers. Armed with a spiked helmet reminiscent of Lord of the Ring's Sauron, and skewers erupting out of his puckered, dried flesh, Winslow the walker proved to be a worthy adversary to Rick, though he ultimately perished at the bottom of a trash pile.
Kept in something that looks vaguely like an arena, it seemed as though the community were almost keeping the walker in the enclosed space as a sort of challenge to visitors, at least that's what can be gathered by the decomposed human skeleton already in the pit.
Greg Nicotero and his special effects makeup team — including Gino Crognale, who not only worked on the walker effects but also ended up playing Winslow — planned out Winslow's appearance very carefully, and the executive producer recently shared a number of images to Instagram documenting the process from concept art, to initial props to the final product:
But aside from just looking awesome, actress Pollyanna McIntosh has revealed that Winslow might be more than just a challenge, and that his backstory might be told in future episodes.
Speaking to Comicbook.com, McIntosh hinted that she knew "who he is" and "who he was," though couldn't reveal any more than that. McIntosh said:
"Unfortunately, I can't tell you anything about it -- or not unfortunately, because it's more exciting for the fans, which I'm one of, to know that there are secrets kept so that the show can be as good as it is."
So with McIntosh keeping mum, it falls to us to do our own theorizing on who Winslow was before he was zombified, and why he was kept by the group. Take a look below at our five best guesses and let us know in the comments which theory you think could be correct — and before you guess he was the owner of the houseboat Rick and Aaron raided, his name was Leslie William Starton, so he's firmly out of the running.
The original leader of the Heapsters
While Jadis is very much the leader of the group now, if there's one thing we know about the zombie apocalypse it's that people die all the freakin' time. The junkyard group (who according to McIntosh are called "the Heapsters") have been very busy since the apocalypse, quietly taking supplies and establishing their vast territory. It makes sense that if Winslow was the original leader, and died at some point (either by bite or maybe of tetanus given that they're living in a literally garbage pit), he might be kept on as a sort of 'mascot' for the group.
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A Heapster killed as punishment
We know that many of the different communities have their own forms of punishment. Both Deanna and Rick forced people to leave and fend for themselves, while Negan prefers to disfigure disloyal group members faces with a red hot iron. Though it's savage, it seems plausible that being condemned to an after-life of being an ultimate walker weapon could have been some sort of punishment for a member who deeply wronged the Heapsters in some way.
The former owner of the junkyard/garbage dump
Before the apocalypse, the junkyard surely would have had at least one person managing it, possibly even living on site. It's likely that when the group moved in the owner was already dead (or sure, maybe they even killed him), but could the group have "repurposed" the former owner into a mascot/guard for the community? Would be kind of poetic that the owner would still working for the junkyard, albeit in a different way.
Jadis's former partner
Admittedly this is the most unlikely scenario, but could Winslow have been a former partner of Jadis's who died, but lived on as a challenge walker? I mean, as unlikely as it might be, it would kind of solidify Jadis as one bad ass female leader!
He's just a random walker they armored up and named Winslow
And of course there's always the simple explanation that the junkyard gang thought it would be cool to armor up a bunch of walkers and give them all names to keep track of them.
Personally I can't wait for more Winslow clones to pop up in the future, they'd make amazing weapons to use against Negan and the Saviors!
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 11 on February 26
Who do you think Winslow was?