What Did Dr. Jenner Whisper to Rick?

The scene above is taken from the season finale episode of the first season of The Walking Dead.

As Rick and the others are about to escape the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia which is about to blow off, Dr. Edwin Jenner whispers something to Rick.

This whisper is now an enigma in itself, and has been the subject of speculations for months as to what the magic words were.

It should be remembered that the doctor took their blood samples upon their admittance to the building. What the doctor whispered could be related to the tests he conducted.


Here are the speculations:

1. Jenner told Rick that Lori was pregnant.

This was disproved by Rick’s sheer surprise upon learning from Lori herself that she was pregnant in the episode “Secrets.”

2. Jenner disclosed to Rick classified data concerning the zombie epidemics origin.

The cause of the zombie… err, walker outbreak has not be tackled yet in the TV series and even in the comics. However, in the webisodes, it is rumored that terrorists caused the “infection”.

3. Jenner told Rick that the survivors are actually infected themselves.

This is supported by a scene inside the season one finale where a drunken Rick enters the room to inquire concerning the blood tests which Jenner was at the time looking over. As he quickly closes the binder that contains what was potentially the results, he did actually say, “No surprises”.

Everyone is already infected by an airborne pathogen that is latent – meaning, it will only become active following the death of the victim. Upon death, it can take anytime between three minutes and eight hours for the corpse to reanimate.

This was somewhat proven when in the episode “Better Angels“, Shane and Randall got killed and were not bitten before reanimation. That is quite potentially the “hint” to Jenner’s whisper, that everyone is currently infected.

It has been suggested that one does not have to be bitten to be infected with the zombie virus. In the episode “18 Miles Out“, as Rick siphons gas, Shane examines the policemen’s bodies, noting they haven’t been bitten. Rick points to scratches that likely caused their transformation.

There’s also the case of Jim in the first season. When the camp was attacked in the fourth episode, he was bitten by a walker on his stomach. He did not immediately turn into one as he was still alive. He probably turned into after death when he gradually succumbed to the fever caused by the walker bite.


The finale episode of The Walking Dead Season 2 will be shown on March 18, 2012.

It is expected that the true nature of Dr. Jenner’s whisper will be revealed in the episode.

UPDATE: Rick finally revealed to the survivors the secret whisper.

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