Warning: The Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers are ahead.
The Walking Dead recently attended Comic-Con over the weekend, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. On Friday afternoon, the Season 7 trailer was finally released. Everyone was expecting to see a bit of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and they did. However, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his pet tiger, Shiva, were also featured in the video clip. This was exciting TWD news and confirmed everyone’s suspicions that the leader of The Kingdom would be introduced.
Those that have read The Walking Dead comic books know who Ezekiel is. However, many fans who watch the show have not experienced the comics. So, here is everything you need to know about Ezekiel and Shiva. Keep in mind that these TWD spoilers are from the comic books. As with everything else on The Walking Dead, certain details and storylines may be changed from the comics to the television show.
As Comic Book Resources pointed out, Ezekiel is the leader of a survivor community called The Kingdom. Before the zombie apocalypse, Khary Payton’s character was a zookeeper, which explains why he is so comfortable around tigers. He actually cared for Shiva when the tiger was just a baby cub, so they have history and a bond. This is why Shiva is so loyal and protective of Ezekiel.
In The Walking Dead, Ezekiel calls himself a king and mostly keeps himself separated from the rest of the community. Shiva is his protector and is immune to turning into a living corpse. However, the tiger is not immune from death in other ways.
In The Walking Dead comics books, Ezekiel agrees to meet with Jesus and Rick Grimes. They have a common enemy and that is Negan. The Kingdom joins the Hilltop Colony and Alexandria in taking down Negan and the Saviors. However, Negan is not killed. Instead, he is kept in a cage, but likes to taunt Rick by getting out.
As fans recall in Season 6 of The Walking Dead, Morgan was building a jail. Some wondered if it was for Rick, but it just might be used for Negan. In an interview with Variety months ago, Jeffrey Dean Morgan revealed that Negan would be around for a few years. More recently, it was announced that the actor was promoted to series regular, which confirms the statement.
It seems that Negan will stick around on the television show just like he did in the comic books. Fans will have to wait and see if Rick and Ezekiel will regret not killing Negan. Even though he is considered a “villain,” Negan is a popular character in the comic books.
As for the future of Ezekiel and Shiva, it is unknown if his storyline will mimic the comic books exactly. In the graphic novels, Ezekiel and Michonne end up becoming an item. Right now on The Walking Dead TV show, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are together. If Ezekiel and Michonne become a couple, it could create some tension with Rick.
Important things to note about Ezekiel is that he is always accompanied by soldiers and doesn’t make himself vulnerable. He considers himself to be strong, but does not take failure (or death) very well. In the comics, he saves Rick, but Negan ends up escaping. He has wisdom and reminds Rick that they are outnumbered by the Saviors. This bit of advice may have saved Rick Grimes from getting himself killed.
Based on what happens to Ezekiel and Shiva in The Walking Dead comic books, do you think the TV show will follow the same storyline? Or do you predict some differences? Find out for sure when TWD returns with Season 7 on October 23.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC]