|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Comic Series counterpart or his Road to Survival counterpart..|
Ezekiel, commonly referred to by his epithet "King" Ezekiel, is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He leads a community known as the Kingdom, where he is the self-proclaimed "king" of the people living there. Ezekiel also has a pet tiger named Shiva.
Ezekiel is described as "wise" and "theatrical." He is known to be caring for others, doing whatever he can for his people, including role playing royalty. Nonetheless, he does seem to be somewhat pompous and enjoys the spotlight. As well as his unusual first name, he uses his experiences in theatre to create a highly flamboyant, charismatic king, and speaks in a Shakespearean like manner, often referring himself in the third person.
Ezekiel was a zookeeper in the same zoo where Shiva was kept. He saved her life when her leg was badly injured after she fell in a moat. Using his shirt to stop the bleeding, Shiva was saved and Ezekiel gained respect from the tiger. He also stated he used to perform in community theatre, playing many kings.
At some point after the outbreak, Ezekiel formed a community named 'the Kingdom' where his charismatic nature, tendency for theatrics and high respect by others firmly established his leadership position. He then proclaimed himself "King" with the support of his people. Later, he ordered the clearing of buildings to either expand or further safeguard the community. During one of these missions eight of his men were killed, including the father of Benjamin who was a close friend of him. This incident made him more careful. Sometime after this he encountered the Saviors, who most likely executed one of his men in an effort to force them into subjugation. Ezekiel eventually accepted their terms, but kept the deal hidden from his people for fear they would want to fight. His leadership was successful and the Kingdom became a thriving community.
Ezekiel sits on a throne in a theater auditorium with his tiger, Shiva, chained at his side. Ezekiel dramatically introduces himself to Carol and welcomes her to The Kingdom. Carol, in the meek persona she used with the Alexandrians, pretends to be in awe of The Kingdom. Ezekiel offers her fruit, suggesting she at least take the pomegranate; Carol politely declines and thanks Ezekiel.
Ezekiel, Morgan and a small team leave The Kingdom in two trucks. They hunt pigs in a nearby city, corralling them into a building where a tied up walker awaits. The pigs devour the walker. Ezekiel turns to one of his men, Richard, and tells him it’s a job well done. Richard states, “it’s just what we needed.” Morgan asks why they bait the pigs with walkers. Richard says that he wants their bellies “full of rot.”
Walkers approach Ezekiel’s group. Richard instructs Benjamin, a teenage boy, to kill a nearby walker with a machete. Benjamin struggles with the walker; Ezekiel unsheathes his sword and stabs it in the head. Richard tells Morgan to keep the pig hunt a secret from The Kingdommers.
Back at The Kingdom, Ezekiel praises Morgan’s skill with the fighting stick and asks him to train Benjamin. Morgan agrees.
Ezekiel approaches Morgan and Benjamin when they are taking a break from training and asks them to join him. Ezekiel and his group wait in a parking lot with a shipment of slaughtered pigs. A group of Saviors arrive. Gavin, the leader, counts the pigs and is pleased to find that they’re bigger than the last shipment. Richard remarks that they fed the pigs well. As they load up the trucks, a Savior picks a fight with Richard. Ezekiel orders his people to lower their weapons and Gavin tells his man to stop punching Richard. Gavin reminds Ezekiel that the following week is a produce week. He warns Ezekiel that Richard will be the first to die if they deliver less than requested.
That night, Ezekiel catches Carol picking fruit from the garden as she prepares to leave The Kingdom. She adopts her demure persona and Ezekiel tells her not to bullshit a bullshitter. “You’re a joke,” she tells him. He uses his normal voice and confesses that he’s putting on an act and that Shiva, contrary to the heroic stories that residents have told about him, is a tiger that he nursed back to health when he was a zookeeper. He explains that people wanted to ascribe him a leadership role because it’s human nature for them to feel safer when they have someone to follow. “I just want to go,” Carol says. Ezekiel encourages her to embrace life and suggests a plan that would allow her to “go and not go.”
As Carol stokes a fire in her new home, there’s a knock at the door; it’s Ezekiel and Shiva. He offers her a pomegranate. She smiles.
Jesus takes Rick Grimes and the Alexandrians to the Kingdom to meet with Ezekiel in hopes of forging an alliance between Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom to defeat the Saviors. Ezekiel reprimands Jesus for telling Rick about his deal with the Saviors. They plead their case; in the process, Richard urges Ezekiel to fight the Saviors before things get worse, Morgan – asked for his opinion by Ezekiel himself – advises that they must find a non-violent course.
Ezekiel agrees to give Rick his decision in the morning and invites them to stay the night.
Ezekiel puts Henry, Benjamin’s younger brother, down to bed. Benjamin urges Ezekiel to help Rick’s group fight against the Saviors. Ezekiel thanks him for his counsel. The next morning, Ezekiel explains to Rick that even though the Kingdom seems idyllic, they had to fight for it. He lost many people in a battle against the walkers, that’s why he refuses to violate the peace he holds with the Saviors. However, he offers asylum in the Kingdom to Daryl Dixon who recently escaped the Saviors' custody, telling the Alexandrians that Daryl will be safe in the Kingdom. Daryl ultimately takes Ezekiel's asylum offer with Rick suggesting that Daryl use the opportunity to change Ezekiel's mind.
Ezekiel, Morgan and other members of The Kingdom are waiting at the pickup location for the Saviors’ collections. Dianne shoots a walker with a bow, stating it had the same dress as her sister. The Saviors arrive and Gavin comments that the drop looks light, but Ezekiel tells him they have met their obligations and Gavin agrees. Jared says that he wants Richard's gun and the two men face off. Ezekiel tells Richard to hand over his gun, which he reluctantly does. When Jared lunges at Richard, Morgan strikes him with his staff. Jared seizes the staff and hits Morgan with it, so Benjamin strikes Jared and sends him to the floor. Ezekiel bans Richard from attending future exchanges but Gavin stops him and tells him to keep bringing Richard, and he will keep his word to kill him if he doesn't control his temper and as the Saviors prepare to leave, Morgan asks for his staff back but Jared leaves with it.
Afterwards, he returns to the Kingdom with the others. Benjamin tells Ezekiel he did good, but he tells him he still needs to improve. Ezekiel tells Richard they will talk later about his behavior.
Ezekiel and some of The Kingdom residents visit Carol in her garden. Ezekiel tells her they are there to clear the dead. As Carol says goodbye, Jerry hands her some cobbler which she accepts before telling them to go. She sits back down to read her book until someone knocks at the door. She answers and is met by Daryl, and the two hug. Daryl tells her that Jesus took them to the Kingdom and asks why she left. She tells him she had to.
This list shows the victims Ezekiel has killed:
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- "I was a zookeeper. Shiva, she fell into one of the concrete moats in her exhibit. It was empty, the vets were on their way, but her leg was ripped open. She was gonna bleed out... The sound she made... She was in so much pain. I knew the risk. I had to try. And I got my shirt up around her leg... saved her life. After that, she never showed so much as a tooth in my direction. Keeping a tiger isn't practical -- I know. She eats as much as 10 people. She could yank the chain out of my hand -- hell, she could yank my arm right off. But she hasn't. She won't. I lost a lot, just like everybody else. She was the last thing left in this world that I loved. She got me here, made me larger than life. And I made this place."
- —Ezekiel about Shiva[src]
- "Never bullshit a bullshitter."
- —Ezekiel to Carol [src]
- "The Kingdom is favored by your presence once more!"
- —Ezekiel to Morgan.[src]
Ezekiel puts great trust into Richard, and is one of his top Knights. Richard, in turn, respects Ezekiel very much. However, when dealing with the Saviors, Ezekiel has to keep an eye on Richard due to his extreme hatred towards them.
Jesus and Ezekiel have shown to be good friends, both making deals with each other before the Saviors, however Ezekiel expresses outrage at Jesus's betrayal of their trust in not sharing the community's association with the Saviors
Ezekiel and Rick have interacted once. While Ezekiel is sympathetic to Rick's plight, and seems to like him, he shows reluctance to join the fight, saying that he has peace with the Saviors and refuses to break it.
- "You call yourself a damn king, you sure as hell don't act like one."
- —Daryl to Ezekiel.[src]
While unwilling to go to war with the Saviors, Ezekiel was sympathetic enough to Daryl's plight to offer him asylum in the Kingdom where the Saviors couldn't find him. Daryl ultimately took up Ezekiel's offer at Rick's suggestion. Later on, Daryl seems to trust Ezekiel more after what Carol Peletier told Daryl about him.
- The casting call for this character used the name Augustus.
- Ezekiel's signature weapon is a Shikomizue, a sword cane.