Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2: “Infected” Spoiler Photos — The Prison Begins to Crumble!

*Spoilers ahead from the comic books*

It would only make sense for The Hunters to show up at some point soon on The Walking Dead, perhaps by the end of Season 4. The Hunters are cannibals featured in the comic books; they’re part of a particularly juicy (no pun intended) storyline as Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) group hits the road post-prison to get to Washington, D.C.

In the books, there are five men (led by Chris) and one woman (named Theresa) in The Hunters. The AMC show only rarely follows the comics directly, but Season 4 showrunner Scott Gimple is a big fan of the original source material and The Powers That Be are not likely to ignore such a fascinating (if potentially horrific) potential plot point.

So it’s not too surprising to hear some rumors about potential casting for The Hunters.

The Walking Dead Women on Facebook posted this note on January 6: "There 6 Members of ''The Hunters..Anissa Matlock has been cast for the 2nd half of season 4. And rumors are flying around that she could be playing Theresa from The Hunters.******LOLA"

They’re just rumors at this point, but The Walking Dead is now listed on Anissa’s IMDb page, with the actress credited as “Featured Terminan” for Episode 16, which would be the season finale.

You can’t put too much stock in rumors or IMDb, but you can put at least some stock in logical story progression. Besides, we’ve already been eyeing Andrew J. West’s new character as possibly being based on Chris, leader of The Hunters. Andrew was cast as Gareth, described as "a remix of sorts of an unidentified character from the series." Gareth will reportedly have a big presence and play an important role later this season.

What if Gareth is a version of Chris, and The Hunters show up on or before the season finale? What if they are tied to the “controversial” episode Andrew Lincoln teased? What if one of our major characters is killed or just (gulp) maimed for food? It doesn’t get much more controversial than eating the cast!

This is all pure speculation — and it could be 100 percent off — but what if that’s also tied to The Sanctuary, which was teased on the radio during the veterinary college run? Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman told TV Guide, “The Sanctuary, which was discussed in that radio message, will come into play” in the second half.

Do you think The Hunters will come into play later this season, or do you suspect Anissa’s character — if she was indeed cast — will be involved in a different storyline? Any thoughts on The Sanctuary and Gareth?

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Sources: The Walking Dead Women, IMDb, Examiner