Today AMC officially confirmed the arrival of Walking Dead comic favorite Ezekiel in their SDCC 2016 Season 7 trailer! The dreadlock-rocking, tiger-owning, self-appointed king will officially be played by actor Khary Payton! Watch the trailer and find out more about Ezekiel below:


Who is Khary Payton?

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Augusta Georgia native Khary Payton is no stranger to comic adaptations. If you don’t know the face you may know the voice; he’s most known for portraying Cyborg in Teen Titans Go, Aqualad in Young Justice, and has also given his voice to video games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Batman: Arkham Origins. YouTuber TeddyKGaming compiled a mashup of his voiceover work:

And here’s Comic Vine interviewing him at SDCC 2013:

Who Is Ezekiel?

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First introduced in Issue 108 of The Walking Dead comics, former Zoo-Keeper Ezekiel is the self-appointed king of a nearby survivor community known as The Kingdom. Aesthetically, he’s known for his colorful starred shirt, white dreadlocks, cane/sword, theatrical personality, and of course his loyal pet tiger Shiva (who we also saw in the trailer). Always accompanied by an escort of soldiers, Ezekiel is rarely vulnerable. He prides himself on his strength and doesn’t handle failure well. His “Kingdom” is located in a former high school guarded by armored men on horses…sound familiar? It should because Morgan met some of the Kingdom’s soldiers in the Season 6 finale. Refresher:

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Ezekiel is also allied with Jesus and The Hilltop Colony; who both share a severe hatred of Negan and his Saviors.

What Does It All Mean?!?!

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What it means is that Rick and the remaining survivors now have a HUGE new ally/community to help them help fight Negan and the Saviors. . With what Negan just pulled off, Rick’s going to need all the help he can get. Before, Rick was fighting Negan to help The Hilltop, but now, it’s personal. One can only assume Rick’s group will cross paths with Ezekiel this season, but we’ll have to wait what that brings with it!


What do YOU think of the Ezekiel casting?? Tell us in the comments below!