The Walking Dead: Top 100 Moments

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17. The King Breaks Down

Episode 806 “The King, The Widow and Rick”

Original Airdate: 11/26/17

Submitted by: Sarabeth Pollock

The Walking Dead is known for losing people. It’s a tough thing to endure, to be sure, but when a character loses everyone close to him, it’s hard to bounce back.

For King Ezekiel, he might have survived with Jerry thanks to Carol’s intervention (and later, Shiva’s) but he lost everyone when the Saviors attacked the Kingdommers in the field at the outpost. This was a devastating blow for the King, who had a smile on his face up until that moment. He survived only because his people threw themselves in front of him. “Save the King,” Jerry had cried.

So when Carol comes to check on Ezekiel, she finds him in the throne room with Shiva’s chain. He doesn’t want to pretend anymore. He’s a husk of the gregarious man he once was.

Carol reminds him that no matter what happened, there are still people who look to Ezekiel for his leadership. He must remain strong for them no matter how hard it is. Even if he has to play the part of being ok in order to play the part of the King, that’s what he needs to do. He’s not just “some guy” as he said to Jerry after they were attacked. He is the leader of the Kingdom, and they need him to be strong for them.

It’s fitting, then, that Carol was the one to go and bring him back from the brink. He went to check on her no matter how many times she insisted she wanted to be alone, and now she played that role for him until he was ready to come back and lead his people in the next battle.