No character in the world of The Walking Dead has been more mysterious than Beta (Ryan Hurst), Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) terrifying No. 2 and frequent nemesis of the survivors. To date, whether he’s battling Daryl (Norman Reedus) or carrying out Alpha’s brutal orders, Beta’s revealed nothing about himself but a cold, calculating efficiency and a worship for death.
But in Episode 2 of The Walking Dead, the mystery of Beta begins to unravel as we learn not only how Alpha and Beta meet and the origins of their unique bond, but about the formation of that most mysterious of cults, the Whisperers.
With that in mind, here’s a handy guide to everything we know about Beta so far:
Beta Invented the Whisperers’ Creed
Alpha found Beta in a long-overrun medical facility where Beta may have once been a resident. All over the walls are mantras of healing and recovery, including one that Alpha and Beta later made part of the Whisperer’s creed: “I am the end of the world.” Whether Beta saw it there upon entering the building for shelter or put it there as a resident, we now know it was he who came up with the mantra that he and Alpha have turned into part of their murderous and nihilistic philosophy.
Beta and Alpha Had Chemistry Right Away
When Alpha and Beta meet, there’s an immediate understanding between them. Alpha makes it clear that people, even before the apocalypse, don’t like her, but tells Beta, “I like killing with you.” Beta allows himself to be vulnerable with Alpha in a way that seems unthinkable for the monster that currently haunts the survivors.
Go Inside Alpha and Beta’s Bond:
Alpha Gives Beta His Name
Beta never reveals his real name, even to Alpha. He insists they don’t have names in the apocalypse so she refers to his as Mr. B (for Mr. Big Man) and opines that this makes her A. From there, it’s an easy jump to Beta and Alpha.
He Always Wore a Mask
Even when Alpha and Lydia first encounter Beta, he wears a ski mask to hide his true identity. While it’s not quite the same as wearing someone’s dead skin on your face, it’s telling that he always wanted to remain hidden.
He Wasn’t Always a Monster
The Beta the survivors meet is a dispassionate brute. But before he became a Whisperer, Beta grieved like any normal man. He’s genuinely broken over the death of a friend he loved when Alpha and Lydia meet him — and not just in a homicidal maniac way. That’s why he’s hanging around the mental facility by himself, guarding his friend’s walker body. While that’s not precisely healthy behavior, it’s far from the emotionless killer we know as Beta.
Beta’s Mask Has Special Significance
Speaking of that mask… Beta’s mask isn’t the face of any old walker off the street. It’s the mask of the very friend Beta loved and couldn’t stay with. Alpha convinced him to wear the mask so he could take his friend everywhere, leave the facility and walk with her among the dead. Yikes.
Watch Beta Get His Mask:
Life As a Whisperer:
Beta Was the First Whisperer
We now know that Beta was the first person Alpha convinced to put on the mask, the first person she convinced to walk with the dead alongside her — well, except her poor daughter — and the first person she gave a role in her little tribe.
He’s a Great Fighter
How many people walk away from a fight with Daryl Dixon and tell the tale? The answer might only be Beta.
Watch Daryl and Beta’s Epic Fight:
Beta Is Loyal to Alpha
We saw the origins of their bond in Episode 2 and now it makes sense why Beta, with about a foot and 100 pounds on Alpha, follows her with such unswerving loyalty.
He Can Withstand a Ton of Pain
In his battle with Daryl, Beta jumps through a door and is thrown into a glass panel. He’s totally fine. He’s then stabbed and pulls out the knife like it’s nothing. Daryl then pushes him down an elevator shaft and he lives to tell the tale. Beta or Rasputin? If you’re fighting this guy, make sure he’s really dead.
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