|Age||Late 40's to mid 50's|
|Family||Michonne - Lover|
Shiva - Pet (Deceased)
|First Appearance||Issue 108|
|Series lifespan||#108 to present|
- "My men, they followed me, and I believed in them. But I have never led men into battle. I have never ordered men to die for a greater good. I have never watched those I love lay their lives down for me. We're surrounded by death in this world... but somehow, this was different. I didn't know what to do. "
- —Ezekiel to Michonne.[src]
Ezekiel, more commonly known as "King" Ezekiel', is a character first introduced in Issue 108 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is the self-proclaimed "King" of a community called 'The Kingdom', the namesake of his own community. Ezekiel had a pet tiger named Shiva. Ezekiel is a friend of the Hilltop Colony and a close friend to Paul Monroe. He also has a strong hatred for The Saviors, which caused Paul to bring Rick to him in the hopes of collaborating to defeat The Saviors.
Not much is known about Ezekiel's life before or as the outbreak began. It is stated in Issue 110 that Ezekiel was a zookeeper and he knew Shiva since she was born. It is speculated that he lived in or near Washington, D.C., where he states he also had a theater background. Ezekiel later reveals that his father died when he was young and his mother never earned the right to that title.
Ezekiel (referred to as "King Ezekiel" by his fellow citizens) is the leader of a community known as The Kingdom. At some point, Ezekiel met and formed a friendship with Paul Monroe who invited his community to join a trading network that includes the Hilltop community Paul belongs to. He later discovered The Saviors were threatening and harassing the other communities in the trade network in exchange for supplies and possibly saw how vicious their leader, Negan really was (despite the truce offered by The Saviors.) He bided his time and waited for the opportune moment to strike back against "this tyrant." The opportunity Ezekiel was waiting for finally came when Paul brought Rick Grimes to meet him and passed on the information that they had regarding the Saviors' strength and the location of their main base of operations.
Ezekiel forms an alliance between Rick, Paul, and Dwight to take down Negan and the Saviors. At first, Ezekiel acts like an adviser, telling Rick and Paul that they should first focus on overtaking the Saviors outposts in the area. Doing so will give them a foothold and can cause them to whittle away their numbers gradually, while they move on closer to the foundry. When asked by Rick if he's made contact with Dwight, Ezekiel says that they must be patient before Dwight can reveal himself. During one of Rick's trips to the Kingdom, he brings along several residents from Alexandria, including Michonne, who catches Ezekiel's interest. Initially Michonne scorns him, leading to them crossing swords against one another. Later that night, however, the two share some of their past and each lightly flirt with the other.
Ezekiel is later seen leading his forces towards Alexandria. They are able to get there in time to save Rick and several other members of Alexandria. When Negan escapes, Rick wants to follow them but Ezekiel reminds him that they are still outnumbered by the Saviors. He is later seen inside Alexandria talking to Paul, who comments that he thought Ezekiel had abandoned him; Ezekiel says that he had to get his men close without being spotted and that there's much to discuss. Like Negan and Paul, Ezekiel is impressed with Alexandria and comments to Rick that he "vastly undersold this community" and that it is "spectacular... definitely worth fighting for."
Ezekiel is seen sleeping with Michonne in her house in Alexandria. Michonne informs Ezekiel that this meant nothing and that it has the potential to eventually be something. Ezekiel informs her that he can work with potential and heads downstairs to check on Shiva. He finds Michonne making coffee and informs her that Shiva was very well behaved and "she shit in your tub." Michonne asks him if he is being serious and he says he is, however they are interrupted by The Kingdom's head of security Richard, who informs Ezekiel that the buses are stationed outside the gates as he requested. Ezekiel tells Richard to inform Rick and the others immediately.
He is later seen meeting with Rick, Andrea, Paul and Kal in Father Gabriel's church. They discuss the plans for the upcoming war for one final time before deciding to depart for The Sanctuary. While on the road to The Sanctuary the group decides to stop one mile from Sanctuary to fully prepare for the upcoming conflict. Ezekiel finds Rick and Paul talking and when he approaches Rick asks him if his men know to lookout for snipers. Ezekiel says they are prepared and Rick walks off declaring that it is time to get into position.
Ezekiel alongside over one hundred men from Alexandria, Hilltop and The Kingdom arrive outside the gates of Sanctuary. They are immediately confronted by Negan, who informs them that he is not scared of their forces. Rick offers Negan a chance for surrender, however after reveling that Gregory and the Hilltop have sided with The Saviors eight men from the Hilltop leave Rick's force to depart back to Hilltop. However Rick does not back down and says his offer of surrender still stands. Negan tells Rick he does not accept and Savior snipers open fire on Ezekiel and the rest of the force. Ezekiel quickly moves into cover behind a bus and orders one of his men to take out a Savior snipers on the roof. He does so and Ezekiel's men continue to take down more Savior snipers. After a few minutes of gunfire a large herd of zombies approaches The Sanctuary having been drawn by the battle's noise. Ezekiel quickly orders everyone onto buses, he is interrupted by Michonne who asks Ezekiel what he was waiting for. He replies by saying that he was waiting for her and they both quickly escape into one of the buses.
During the aftermath of attacking the Sanctuary, Ezekiel splits off from the main army and takes a group out to conquer one of the Savior outposts nearby. To his great shock and dismay, the Saviors lured them inside and mowed down nearly all of them. Richard is among those who are shot and Ezekiel tries to assure him the he'll survive, but Richard dies in Ezekiel's arms. Enraged, he reaches for a shotgun from one of his deceased teammates, but the man has already turned and nearly bites him. Shocked by how quickly he turned, Ezekiel bashes the man's skull in and faces the remaining Saviors. Unbeknownst to them walkers arrive, diverting the Savior's attention and allowing Ezekiel to escape. He loses them in the woods, but trips and falls in a river. Several walkers arrive but Shiva arrives and saves him. He turns towards Shiva but is saddened by the sight he sees; more walkers arrived and surround Shiva who valiantly tries to fight them off, but is unsuccessful. He returns back to Alexandria alone and breaks down to Michonne, explaining everything that had happened. He reveals that although he is seen as a leader, he had never before asked friends to lay down their lives and die for him. Michonne comforts him while he ruefully wishing that he was the one who died; he would have been seen as a hero and a sacrifice to rally behind, "but most of all... I wouldn't have lost Shiva."
Still grieving over Shiva and his men's deaths, Ezekiel tells a worried Michonne of his troubles. He tells her that he never really had a family and that his men and Shiva were the closet he would ever get to having one. He goes onto to say that now they are dead, he does not want to go on being leader, saying that he has failed to protect those that looked upon him for guidance. Michonne responds by punching him in the face and a shocked Ezekiel asks why. Michonne tells him that he is being a "pussy" and that families back at The Kingdom are still trusting him to lead. She then walks off angrily leaving Ezekiel to collect his thoughts. When the Saviors begin to bomb Alexandria, Ezekiel advises that he and Michonne run off to safety, but Michonne wants them to stay behind to help out the residents of Alexandria.
As a result of all the casualties suffered thus far, Ezekiel has spiraled into a deep depression. When informed by Rick that they are moving to the Hilltop to plan their next attack, Ezekiel questions how many more need to die and says they've already lost. He further tells Rick that he's through and states that he is heading back to The Kingdom with any survivors he has left. Rick persuades Ezekiel that if they stop now, The Saviors will wipe them out and pleads that he go to the Hilltop with them or at the very least, consider it. Ezekiel reluctantly tells him that he will think it over and Rick tells him that is all he wants to hear.
After the rest of Rick's forces leave for Hilltop, Ezekiel stays behind with Michonne, and his forces, at the ruins of Alexandria. After spending a night there, Ezekiel apologizes to Michonne for his cowardice over the previous days, telling her that his real-self just needed some time, and that he is ready to fight The Saviors again.
Over the next week, Ezekiel, along with his remaining forces from The Kingdom, travel to the Hilltop, making it their new home in an effort to have all available people at one place to combat The Saviors. He later joins a meeting with Rick, and a few other people, to discuss war plans against Negan, Ezekiel saying that he is prepared to do whatever it takes to win.
This list shows the victims Ezekiel has killed:
- Numerous counts of zombies and possibly unnamed people.
- "I wish she'd been content. I wish she'd not come after me. There were so many. We were surrounded — But I was able to get away. I turned to call her to me... so we could leave... get away before she was swarmed. She knew there were too many, she knew I'd never get away otherwise. There was no other way. No other way for me to live... I wish I'd died in that field. Coming back here... After losing so many men, I feel embarrassed... ashamed. Things would have been so much better if I had died... My people would see my death as a heroic sacrifice... They'd never have to see me... Like this... But most of all, I wouldn't have lost Shiva."
- —Ezekiel's eulogy.[src]
Shiva shows a love to her owner, Ezekiel, she listens to his commands and stays docile unless he tells her otherwise. Ezekiel, working as a zookeeper, saved Shiva's life before the apocalypse, when she got injured and cut open her leg badly. Ezekiel went out of his way to save her, and did not report her for aggressive behavior when she cut his stomach. Ezekiel understood why she cut him and has forgiven her for it. Shiva proves her love for Ezekiel defending him from a herd of zombies after a failed attack against The Saviors. Keeping the zombies away long enough for Ezekiel escape, but she ended up swarmed and was presumably devoured. Ezekiel is deeply saddened by her death, to the point of stating that he wished he had died in battle so he would not have to live with the grief of losing her.
- "And you have it, Rick Grimes. The day has finally come to right the wrongs that have befallen so many people under this tyrant."
- —Ezekiel making a truce with Rick.[src]
Ezekiel can be seen as a potential ally in Rick's plan of revenge against the Saviors. Both communities have suffered by the hands of the Saviors and Ezekiel refers to Negan as a tyrant. He wants to "right the wrongs that have befallen to the people" under Negan's rule. Also, he shares Rick's view of Negan; both men deeply hate him and want Negan dead.
Ezekiel's regal posture and the presence of Shiva rubbed Michonne the wrong way at first, almost leading to violence. Ezekiel decided to handle the hostility with good will and almost immediately made attempts at attaining Michonne's trust. He has also admitted that he finds Michonne attractive and both started to flirt a bit in Issue 110. He even goes as far as to drop his act and speak to her without his "King" persona. By Issue 115, Michonne and Ezekiel's relationship becomes a romantic interest. Their relationship may have become strained as of Issue 119. Ezekiel, extremely distraught over the death of Shiva, breaks down in front of Michonne, who becomes angry and punches him in the face, ordering him to stop being a "pussy" and to do what he does best: pretend he's not.
- "Ezekiel means well, but no one really knows quite what to make of him. He hated Negan, but he kept that a secret. It wasn't until you came around that he was willing to make a stand. He's just following your lead."
- —Paul to Rick, about Ezekiel's leadership.[src]
Paul and Ezekiel are good friends, as he happily greeted Paul when he arrived with Rick. Although he considers Ezekiel and his community "more like a tumor rather than a participant" of the trade network with the Hilltop, they are both allies against Negan and the Saviors.
- "Gregory is probably requiring much time to locate his backbone."
- —Ezekiel talking to Rick about Gregory.[src]
Ezekiel is shown to not care for Gregory too much, going so far as to call him a "coward." According to Ezekiel, the Hilltop leader has more residents living there than all the other colonies combined and would be able to attack the Saviors, but instead, he spends his time in his house trying to hide the fact that he is too scared to stand up to them.
Ezekiel seems to trust or at least respect Dwight, greeting him in his Kingdom as a "traveler sent by fate" and smiling at his declaration of hatred towards Negan. Also, he thinks of Dwight as a useful member of their "army" against Negan.
- "No, I have never been accepting of Negan's truce. I crowned myself king of this Kingdom in order to make the lives of my people as good as they can be. Negan and his Saviors...I wish to be rid of them. Your friend Jesus knows how deep my hatred for these people burns, how I've simply been waiting for the right moment to strike against these devils. Your son's experience provides me with more than enough information needed to launch an assault. I thank you and again, I am truly sorry for what you had to endure to retrieve that information."
- —Ezekiel to Rick and Jesus about Negan's rule.[src]
Ezekiel deeply hates Negan and wants him dead, as he stated saying that Jesus knew how much hate he had for The Saviors. It is also mentioned that he never accepted Negan's supply truce.
- Ezekiel bears a strong resemblance to Dave Fennoy, the voice actor of Lee Everett in the video game.
- The name Ezekiel may refer to a Hebrew prophet of the 6th century B.C.E., who prophesied the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation.
- Unlike Paul Monroe's nickname "Jesus", Ezekiel states that Ezekiel is really his name.
- It was stated by Ezekiel that he is not a fan of violence.
- Robert Kirkman stated in Issue 113's 'Letter Hacks' that Ezekiel could be the smartest person in the Comic Series.