The Walking Dead: Why Ezekiel cares reveals a lot about him

King Ezekiel. The Walking Dead. AMC.
King Ezekiel. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

Carol’s question to Ezekiel on The Walking Dead about why he cares gets him to reveal a tiny bit extra after he just revealed quite a bit in the gazebo.

King Ezekiel is the most grand of kings. He rules the kingdom. He is part of the kingdom. He looks out for the kingdom. He accepts responsibility for the kingdom. He doesn’t rule and expect his people to protect him. He wants to protect them.

He doesn’t put the facade on for them because he thinks they are below him and foolish. He puts the facade on because he thinks they are equal to him and he knows that it’s helpful to hope. He knows what’s good for people because he is people.

King Ezekiel is not Eugene. He is not lying to get people to protect him because he is weak and doesn’t think he has any skills or value.

carol-and-ezekiel /

King Ezekiel is not The Governor. He doesn’t think he needs to provide them a nostalgic community for them to follow him and feel safe in order to gain respect from them. Respect that he didn’t get from the boss half his age in his pre-apocalypse job.

King Ezekiel is not Deanna. He doesn’t want to provide stability and a future after the apocalypse evens out and wears down. He’s not a city planner.

King Ezekiel is not Gregory. He’s not the boss. He doesn’t want things to be clean in his quarters and negotiate properly to keep things running smoothly so he can stand out in the yard with his hands on his hips and nod.

King Ezekiel is not Gareth. He has not become the butcher because he was the cattle. He is not Dawn. He is not Negan.

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King Ezekiel has created a world of nostalgia and happiness that is not an illusion for his people. He participates in it. He has not created the world of nostalgia and happiness to get the people to trust him and listen to him. He has created it as a gift. He knows it’s what they need. He has given them the gift of hope.

“Why do you care?”
“Because it makes me feel good”

King Ezekiel’s Kingdom and persona could be misconstrued as grandiosity, but the King is a kind king. He gives gifts. His greatest gift is to himself. What he has created to give hope to his people, gives him hope, too.

Next: KIng Ezekiel: The Great and Powerful

When Carol asked him why he cares, he could have given her platitudes about her worth as a person or any number of things that would make him sound magnificent, majestic or imperious. He already knew not to bullshit a bullshitter.

He doesn’t care because he loves her. At least not yet. He doesn’t know her. He could have given platitudes about loving all people or about  karma and how giving comes back to you. But Ezekiel doesn’t give because of karma or a love of humanity. His caring is much more beautifully simple, honest, and selfish. It makes him feel good.