Get ready, Walking Dead fans, as another major character may be due for a tragic ending. The zombie series has become known for killing off its cast in often increasingly gruesome ways, but lately it’s been pretty merciful to its exiting actors, with Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes leaving the show via helicopter and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) disappearing to start a new community. Pretty soon, though, we can expect a new fan favorite to be killed off (spoilers lie ahead).
We Got This Covered has heard from trusted sources that Khary Payton will be saying goodbye to The Walking Dead in either season 9 or the already commissioned season 10, with King Ezekiel set to meet his fate. Our source can’t say for sure when it’ll happen, but Payton has already been notified about what’s in store for his character and it sounds like it was a writer-led decision and not because the actor wishes to leave the show.
Payton joined the cast back in season 7 as the leader of the Kingdom and the eventual ally to Alexandria in the conflict against Negan and his Saviors. Nowadays, Ezekiel’s married to Carol and has an adopted son named Henry, so his loss will no doubt hit them hard. It’ll likely be particularly hard on Carol, who’s previously lost a lot of loved ones over the course of the series. Seriously, somebody give her a break already.
Ezekiel’s death at this point in the show isn’t too unexpected though, as the king is killed by Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers, in the comics when she decapitates him and puts his head on a pike. That fate’s already been alluded to a couple of seasons back, but will things play out the same way on the screen? It’s possible, but it’s worth remembering that The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang has also promised there’ll be “surprises” to come, so we’ll just have to wait and see how they handle this.