Season 7 of The Walking Dead opened with a truly gut-wrenching premiere in which two beloved characters were killed at the hands of Negan. Rick Grimes and his group of survivors are forever changed, but there is still hope in the post-apocalyptic world, and we’ll get a taste of that in ep. 702, “The Kingdom,” in which Morgan takes Carol to see the leader of another group of survivors. But what is the Kingdom, and who is King Ezekiel?
What is the Kingdom?
The Kingdom is a settlement of survivors in Northern Virginia ruled by King Ezekiel. It is much larger than Alexandria and has a larger population. At the end of Season 6, two scouts from the Kingdom stumbled upon Carol and Morgan. In ep. 702, we’ll be reunited with them as they enter the settlement.
At the end of Season 6, you’ll remember two armor-clad men approaching Carol and Morgan — they were scouts from the Kingdom. And in ep. 702, “The Well,” we’ll be reunited with Carol and Morgan as they enter the settlement.
In the comics, the Kingdom is located on a high school campus in Washington, D.C., first encountered in issue #108. Its part of the same trading system to which the Hilltop and the Saviors belong. Without getting into spoiler territory, the residents of the Kingdom become important friends to Rick and his group of survivors.
Read more about the Kingdom on walkingdead.wikia.com.
Who is King Ezekiel?
Ezekiel, leader of the Kingdom, makes his Walking Dead debut in episode 702. He’s played by Khary Payton, who may be familiar to DC fans as the voice of Cyborg in Teen Titans Go! and other animated productions.
A fan-favorite character from the comics, Ezekiel is the self-proclaimed “King” of his settlement, and a friend to Jesus and the other members of the Hilltop Colony — that’s how he comes to know Rick and the group.
Ezekiel owns a tiger, Shiva, which he keeps as a pet — we don’t know if it’ll be explained on the TV show, but in the comics, he was a zookeeper before the outbreak.
COMICS SPOILER WARNING: In the comics, Ezekiel forms a romantic relationship with Michonne, but we seriously doubt they’ll go that route on the show given the way things developed between Michonne and Rick last season.
There’s much more to know about Ezekiel from the comics, but it’s important to remember that the show continually deviates from the comics storyline. You can all about Ezekiel on walkingdead.wikia.com.