The Walking Dead: Will King Ezekiel be able to recover from those losses?

Carol (Melissa McBride), Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) in The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Carol (Melissa McBride), Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) in The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

In The Walking Dead “Some Guy” King Ezekiel took some huge losses. Will the King be able to rally and lead his remaining people?

The Walking Dead delivered some pretty heavy hits to The Kingdom in episode 804 “Some Guy”. King Ezekiel lost a good chunk of his fighters. He almost lost his life. And in the biggest blow of all Shiva sacrificed herself to save him and was killed by walkers.

Ezekiel got a pretty severe psychological beatdown as well as a physical one. Gunther, the Savior who attempted to capture him, ridiculed him for his King persona and called him a con man. And King Ezekiel seemed like he might be ready to abandon his King role. He repeatedly told Jerry not to call him King anymore.

At the end of the episode when Ezekiel was telling Carol and Jerry to leave him because he couldn’t keep up he told Gerry that he wasn’t a king, that he was just “some guy”. But Gerry wouldn’t accept that and continued to call him “ Your Majesty”.

When they got back to The Kingdom Ezekiel was too upset to address his people and he just limped off to take care of his physical and emotional wounds. Can Ezekiel rise to the hero, and the king, that his people need him to be?

The Cost Of Being The Hero

Carol and Ezekiel had one of their delightful “real talk” conversations early in the episode and Ezekiel told Carol that he decided to be the King because the people needed him to be. He asked her if she decided to be who she is now and she said she did, but that life decided some things too. Ezekiel said,” If you’re asked to be the hero, be the hero.”

But can Ezekiel be the hero after everything that just happened? Previously Ezekiel had it relatively easy in The Walking Dead world. He was able to build The Kingdom and create a safe, happy and thriving community. By keeping The Saviors at bay with their secret deal the world he created was insulated from the violence that is the reality in the post -apocalypse world.

Now that violence has hit The Kingdom hard. Ezekiel can give a great speech, almost a Rick worthy speech, when he wants to. But as he found out all the motivational speeches in the world won’t stop his people from dying.

Now Ezekiel has to face the reality of war, and the loss of a good portion of his fighters, and the loss of the last thing he truly loved, Shiva. Will he be able to put on the King persona again and really lead his people?

“Life Decided Some Things Too”

The people of The Kingdom are in a precarious position right now. They don’t really know what The Saviors are capable of, and they don’t know what living under the rule of The Saviors would really be like.

As the reality of war starts to sink in they could either turn away from Ezekiel and want to abandon the war and the alliance or they could embrace it as a moral crusade and fight even harder. To avenge their dead, to avenge Shiva, and to fight for freedom.

What the people of The Kingdom decide to do will be heavily influenced by how Ezekiel reacts to all this. Now that he knows the cost of being the hero if he can rise to the challenge and become a true leader, not just a figurehead with a penchant for Shakespearean speeches, he could lead The Kingdom into being a powerful force.

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Life has now made some tough decisions for Ezekiel. And now he will have to decide who he wants to be. Carol can help him make that decision. Ezekiel and Carol will get closer through their shared experience of catastrophic loss and rebirth. Carol and Morgan can give him the strength and support to become a real leader. He can become the King that the people of The Kingdom needs if he channel his grief into action.

Big Clashes Ahead

In season 8 of The Walking Dead “Some Guy” was the first episode where any of the alliance members really took some heavy losses. But as the show heads towards the midseason finale and Negan and The Saviors start amping up their attacks on the alliance some big battles are on the horizon. Unfortunately the loss of The Kingdom fighters, and Shiva, are just the first wave of casualties for Team Family. All Out War is the battle for the future and no one is safe.