The time has finally come for one of The Walking Dead’s most recognizable characters to debut on screen. That’s right, King Ezekiel, played by Khary Payton is set to make his royal entrance in the the second episode of Season 7. For those who are unfamiliar or need a refresher, we’ve broken down EVERYTHING you need to know about the smooth-talking, dreadlock-rocking, tiger-owning KING Ezekiel.
Who Is Ezekiel?
First introduced in Issue 108 of The Walking Dead comics, former zookeeper Ezekiel is the self-appointed king of a nearby survivor community known as The Kingdom. Ezekiel’s known for his colorful starred shirt, white dreadlocks, cane/sword, theatrical personality, and of course his pet tiger Shiva. In the COMICS Jesus introduces Rick to Ezekiel in the hopes of converging The Kingdom with Alexandria and The Hilltop to topple Negan and The Saviors.
Always accompanied by an escort of soldiers (you MUST have an escort to walk/ride in and out of The Kingdom), Ezekiel is rarely vulnerable. He prides himself on his strength and finds it difficult handle failure well. His “Kingdom” is located in a former high school guarded by armored men on horses (as we’ve seen in the trailers/promos). We actually met the soldiers briefly in the Season 6 finale:
So what’s with the royalty shtick? Although not an actual king, COMIC Ezekiel explains he once saved Shiva’s life from a near fatal injury and used her presence, his look, and his acting ability to create a character people could trust. Those who followed him chose to imagine their own fantastical stories of his lore and he was not about to stop them. And so The Kingdom was born. In subsequent issues, Ezekiel and his community play a MAJOR role in the All Out War against Negan.
Who is Khary Payton?
Augusta Georgia native Khary Payton is no stranger to comic adaptations. If you don’t know the face you may know the voice; he’s most known for portraying Cyborg in Teen Titans Go, Aqualad in Young Justice, and has also given his voice to video games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Batman: Arkham Origins. Since his casting Payton has completely embraced the role and been active on Twitter:
…blessed is he who in the name of charity & goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness… #blessed pic.twitter.com/kljToDR2hZ
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) July 24, 2016
It’s alright, my dear. Just a few more days. pic.twitter.com/myk6E3jOiQ
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) October 19, 2016
On the lookout for walkers…
& stalkers. ATL. Talk to me. #WSCAtlanta pic.twitter.com/9279z2eKhY
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) October 28, 2016
What Does It All Mean?!?!
What it means is that Rick and the remaining survivors POSSIBLY have a huge new ally/community to help them help fight Negan and the Saviors. With what Negan just pulled off in the premiere, Rick’s going to need all the help he can get. If this is true, the WAY Rick finds them will have to vary from the comics. In the comics Morgan and Carol are both dead, so fans will have to wait and see how Rick’s group eventually comes across The Kingdom. And THAT is all you need to know about The Walking Dead’s newest character!
What are YOU most looking forward to seeing in this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments below!
can’t wait to see him and Shiva destroy walkers
WOW. Much like with the casting of Jesus, i had never heard of this actor before he was cast, but it looks and sounds like he’s a great fit for the role. Really, stellar casting job lately guys, I was impressed with almost all of the casting choices from last year. (Dwight was a bit unimpressive)
I personally thought Dwight was a good cast, could’ve been better but I liked it
Oh yeah I agree he was pretty good, I just thought the other recent castings (Gregory, Jesus, Negan) were a bit better.
Hmm, too young maybe? Always thought Zeke was late 40s, could imagine Idris Elba playing him.
I thought he was older too ((I recently got to that part of the comics… I’m a younger viewer)) I thought he was older, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought he was older.
What, no button down star shirt?
He’s wearing it!
It’s faint, but you can see it!
Oh, it’s there. It’s just faded and under his coat. You can check it out in MAPP’s video about Zeke: https://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=2h_uUqUFc4Q I hope that helps!
Nice! I totally missed it.
ALL HAIL KING ZEKE!! lol i think they casted him perfectly. it wouldnt have been right having him be portrayed by someone as well known as idris elba. i am very excited to see what the writers have in store for us this fall. i just really hope they dont deviate too greatly from the comic (which isnt always a bad thing) i love this story arc and i hope they do it proper justice.
I’m excited to see where this goes. Dwight’s character was kind of a bust. I DONT really like I just understand he’s playing the role now. Everybody else I fw. Does JDM not want to shave his beard or something???? I think he should. That’s the one thing throwing me off about him as began. I like how they use the non comic elements to bridge parts of the story together that were stretch’s in the comic. Morgan and carol both had dumb deaths in the comic. Why not have them 2 be the ones to bridge the gap to Alexandria. Walking dead getting better and better. The waits be worth it
It seems fitting the two people with the least urge to kill would end up at the peaceful Kingdom. How Morgan’s story goes from here I have no clue. But Carol? Romance with Ezekiel. Michonne got him in the comics, so since Michonne is Ricks Andrea in the show, why not have Carol go through that journey with King E. No matter what happens, gonna be a great season. So many new elements.
So super psyched “Cyborg” is finally getting some face time, and playing a character that is equally just as awesome!
I can not wait to see Alexandria meet The Kingdom!