|This article is about the TV Series character. You may be looking for his Comic Series, Road to Survival, or No Man's Land counterpart.|
- "The petty compromises I made to avoid conflict, were all done in the name of saving my people's lives. Now I realize, I was saving yours. No more."
- —Ezekiel to Gavin[src]
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, and is one of the four co-leaders of the Militia along with Rick Grimes, Maggie Rhee and Cyndie.
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 uncommon first name, he uses his experiences in theater to create the persona of a highly flamboyant, charismatic king, and speaks in a Shakespearean like manner, often referring himself in the third person. Despite his benevolence, he has an uneasy truce with the Saviors, and is shown to have a no nonsense attitude towards Gavin and his group.
After the deaths of Benjamin and Richard, Ezekiel decides to join the fight with Rick Grimes against Negan and the Saviors, becoming one of the three leaders of the Militia, alongside Rick and Maggie Rhee.
After the deaths of several Kingdomers in a fail attack to the Chemical Plant Outpost and the death of Shiva by a zombie herd, Ezekiel becomes deeply depressed, considering himself responsible for the deaths of so many members of his community, as well as Shiva's. He tells Jerry that he's not his king anymore, completely losing his confidence. Later, Carol tries to motivate him with a speech, in order to return being the king the Kingdom needs and get back in the battle, but with no success, with Ezekiel responding he just can't be a leader anymore.
However, after Gavin and the Saviors come to the Kingdom, with the order of Negan, in order to capture Ezekiel and take him to Negan, to execute him in front of his people, as well as make the Kingdomers go to the Sanctuary to rebuild it from a previous zombie attack led by Daryl, Ezekiel changes his mind and decides to save his people, by having them get in a school bus and drive away from the Kingdom, while Ezekiel stays behind, being ready to sacrifice himself to save his people and ordering Carol to save his people like she had previously saved him.
Ezekiel was born in the early 1960’s and grew up in Washington D.C, although little is known regarding his early life. At a young age he performed in community theater where he portrayed several fictional kings including Arthur, Macbeth as well as Martin Luther upon where he gained a distinct talent for theatricality.
As an adult, he became a zookeeper. One day, a Bengal tiger named Shiva fell into a concrete moat and thus her leg was ripped open, with no veterinarians around, Ezekiel came to her rescue by wrapping his shirt around her open wound and managed to stop a hemorrhage. Grateful for his aid, Shiva never displayed any hostility towards Ezekiel and thus the two formed a close bond.
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, several also had to have their arms and legs amputated due to being bitten. This incident made him more careful. Sometime after this he encountered the Saviors, they struck a deal in which the Kingdom pay the Saviors weekly tributes in return for them not stepping foot inside the Kingdom. Ezekiel thus 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, Jared picks a fight with Richard. Ezekiel orders his people to lower their weapons and Gavin tells Jared 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. He tells her that the only thing that's real about him is his name. “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 is happy to see Jesus and asks if Rick and his friends are new allies, he says they are. Rick offers the plan of an alliance against the Saviors, which Ezekiel ponders heavily. 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.
Rick tells Ezekiel about a story his mother told him as a kid. On the way to the Kingdom, the was a rock in the road. People would hit it and lose their wagons and such. A little girl's family hit the rock and lost their supplies. The girl sat there and cried and wondered why the rock was still there to hurt someone else. She dug at that rock in the road with her hands until they bled and used everything she had to pull it out. When she was going to fill it up, she saw a bag of gold. 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. Rick tells Ezekiel that outside of the Kingdom people don't have this good. Daryl questions Ezekiel calling himself a king. Ezekiel defends himself. He states that previous attempts of expansion and fighting has gotten people killed, leaving children parentless and loved ones devastated, 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 angrily assures 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 orders them to stop fighting. As they leave, 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 Ezekiel warns him against being too eager to fight. Ezekiel then 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.
Ezekiel and a crew of somber Kingdom residents load a single cantaloupe onto a truck, which has been stained with blood.
The previous day, Ezekiel watches residents going about their business with Shiva at his side. One of the residents, Nabila, informs Ezekiel that their crop is infested with weevils and must be burned. She assures him it will grow back.
The crew prepare to leave the Kingdom for their scheduled drop with the Saviors. En route, they encounter a row of shopping carts blocking the road near an urban lot. They search the area as Richard covers the group from behind. They find an open grave with a sign, “Bury me here.” Ezekiel says this world can drive people mad and it is mere luck they are not all insane. Benjamin tells him the world may drive some people mad, but he made them another world.
They arrive at the meeting point, where the Saviors await. Gavin reprimands Ezekiel for arriving late. Gavin interjects as Ezekiel begins explaining their delayed arrival. He inspects the offering, then demands their guns. The two groups draw their weapons on each other. Richard advises Ezekiel to disarm and he reluctantly complies. Gavin explains that he took their guns because things are going to get emotional. Gavin points out that they’re short one cantaloupe. Ezekiel insists there are twelve cantaloupes. On inspection he counts them and realizes to his confusion there are eleven. Gavin explains he’s going to teach them a lesson so they understand the stakes. Jared raises his gun and points it at Richard, but shoots Benjamin in the leg at the last minute.
Gavin is shocked by the turn of events, but nonetheless he orders Ezekiel to bring him the twelfth cantaloupe the next day. Ezekiel acknowledges what he owes Gavin and the crew quickly loads Benjamin onto the truck.
Ezekiel’s crew arrives at Carol’s cottage and they rush Benjamin inside. They try to treat his wound, but he dies. Ezekiel apologizes to Carol for coming to her but says they had no choice.
Later that night, Morgan witnesses Ezekiel breaking the news of Benjamin’s death to his brother. The next day, Ezekiel grimly places a single cantaloupe in the truck.
The very next day, Morgan walked up to Richard as they stood before the saviors and asked "Did you?" Richard replied "We'll talk about it later" Where Ezekiel asks "Talk about what?" Richard reluctantly replied "Its better to speak of it later your majesty" But Ezekiel slowly catches on and replies worriedly "We will speak of it now", But their short conversation was cut off as Gavin and his crew pulled up in their trucks and got out. Gavin asked "How's the kid" Upon seeing nothing but grim faces from the Kingdom, Gavin realized that Jared has actually killed Benjamin at the previous exchange, to which he responds to by telling Jared to begin walking away from the exchange, threatening to kill him if he "threw one look or say one word" Jared complies and walks away from the exchange, appearing to be embarrassed at his superiors commands.
After Jared has been long gone, Richard brings the lonely cantaloupe that caused the death of Benjamin over the Gavin and then out of nowhere, Morgan walks up to Richard and whacks him twice with his staff from behind. After allowing Richard to fall to the ground, Morgan pounces on top of him and begins to strangle him to death with no remorse. Ezekiel is shocked by Morgans actions and shouts "Cease this!" But Gavin allows him to as he responds with "Let em be!" as the Saviors aim guns at Ezekiel and his men, likely to shoot if they attempted to stop Morgan.
There is little resistance as Morgan strangles Richard to death. He reveals that Richard staged the missing cantaloupe to incite a war between the Kingdom and the Saviors. After the Saviors leave, Morgan explains that Richard wanted to sacrifice himself. Ezekiel is in complete shock he asks Morgan "He...He did this? but is confused when he accidentally refers to Benjamin as Duane. Ezekiel attempts to console an emotional Morgan and tells him he shouldn’t be alone. They leave at Morgan’s request.
Ezekiel is replanting the burned crops with Henry when Carol approaches. She tells him she’s moving to the Kingdom to help them prepare. “We have to fight,” she says. “We do,” Ezekiel agrees. “But not today.” Carol joins Ezekiel and Henry in replanting the burned crops.
Ezekiel leads a regiment from the Kingdom toward Alexandria. Shiva joins him as well. They reach the blockade of shopping carts previously placed by Richard; it has been rearranged. Morgan appears, still emotionally unstable, and vows to hunt down the Saviors by himself, but Ezekiel convinces him to fight at their side. He joins them as they march towards Alexandria.
As Negan prepares to strike Carl with Lucille, Shiva leaps onto and mauls a nearby Scavenger. Ezekiel, Carol and the Kindommers arrive at the head of the Kingdom regiment in an attack, as Maggie arrives with the Hilltop fighters. A battle ensues as the Saviors and Scavengers are caught off guard. Carol works alongside Ezekiel as they take out a couple of Scavengers. Rick and Carl join the fight. Negan orders a retreat as Shiva mauls one his men to death.
The joint communities successfully push their adversaries back. Negan and his men escape in their vehicles being bombarded with gunfire, while the Scavengers release smoke bombs and scaling the walls and running out the gate on foot.
In the graveyard, Ezekiel is present at Sasha’s funeral. Members of Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom celebrate their victory.
Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel stand on a podium and address the crowd as the leaders of their respective communities: Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom, united and ready for an all out war.
Ezekiel is present when Rick gives a rousing speech to the united communities, Alexandra, Hilltop and the Kingdom reminding them they’re fighting for their futures, for a bigger world. He vows to stop the Saviors and kill Negan, the only one who truly has to die. Ezekiel chimes into Rick's speech and gives kingly rally cry to everyone. Then, it's Maggie's turn, pleading with everyone to keep faith in each other. If they do, "the future is ours. The world is ours," she promises. The caravan arrives in a large field, where members of all three communities are waiting.
As the sun is setting, the cars get into a formation, leading to the moments which saw Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel's rallying speeches. Rick and Aaron talk about their preparations, as do Jerry and Enid, while Rick, Maggie, Ezekiel, Jesus, and Gabriel talk. Maggie insists on joining the initial phase of the fight, despite being pregnant. Ezekiel offers to let Maggie see the Kingdom’s doctor, but Jesus assures him they’ll retrieve Doctor Carson, who was previously taken by the Saviors. Rick vows to relinquish leadership and follow Maggie after the fight is over. Ezekiel is eager to reshape this world.
Ezekiel then traveled with the Militia to the Sanctuary and opened fire against the Saviors and then left the Sanctuary with the others as the herd crew summoned the herd of walkers to the gates of Sanctuary.
Outside the Kingdom, Carol and Ezekiel meet again. Ezekiel is happy to see her. Then he and Carol lead another group toward a third Savior outpost. They see a Savior guarding the front entrance and shoot at him. However, they all miss and the Savior ducks behind a car for cover. He then throws a smoke grenade at the group which explodes, creating a big cloud of smoke.
Ezekiel lays stunned by the explosion of the grenade thrown by the lookout. As he and Carol recover, they are attacked by walkers, and are able to take them out with the help of the half dozen Kingdommers accompanying them. Jerry kills them with his axe. He orders the others to "protect the "king" but Ezekiel orders them to protect themselves.
The Savior, Nelson, has escaped, and Carol warns that he will almost certainly be heading to the outpost in the woods to the north to warn them, in which case they will lose their advantage. Ezekiel confidently declares that they will catch up before he can do this, and tells one of his men to return to the staging area to bring the rest of the regiment along with Shiva.
In the woods, Ezekiel, Carol and the Kingdommers pursue Nelson, leaving a trail for the others to follow. Carol is pessimistic of their chances if he makes it back to the outpost, by Ezekiel reasons that pessimism doesn't bare thinking about, and remains confident of a successful outcome. They discover fresh blood, indicating that one of them hit Nelson, thereby slowing him down. With renewed optimism, they pick up the pace.
Back in the woods, Ezekiel and the Kingdommers finally catch up with the retreating Nelson, just as the rest of their regiment, over two dozen strong, arrive on their heels. Shiva intercepts Nelson and mauls him to death.
Ezekiel and his people regroup in the woods, where they hear on the radio that the nearby Savior outpost is sending out an active patrol, indicating that they know the Kingdommers are coming. Despite the concern of his closest advisors, Ezekiel is unfazed, and raises his sword, confidently prepares for the upcoming attack.
Deep in the woods, Ezekiel rallies and motivates his troops, over three dozen strong for the upcoming assault on the nearby Savior outpost. Carol notes that the Saviors most likely have the advantage of superior numbers, but agrees with Ezekiel that the Kingdommers have strategy on their side. Ezekiel is confident that if they stick to the plan, they will not lose a single person. Over the radio, the Saviors organize their forces. Later, Ezekiel leads a small number of his regiment through the woods, where they soon hear Saviors whistling. They are quickly confronted by a group of around 20 Saviors, who hold them at gun point. Carol emerges from the long grass with the rest of the Kingdommers and shoot the Saviors from behind, while Ezekiel's group drop to their knees and open fire as well, killing them all and sustaining no casualties. Shiva is seen with Ezekiel afterwards.
Ezekiel reminds his troops that the Saviors they just took out were only one garrison from a compound of three. Later, they stealthily take out the guards stationed at a building occupied by Saviors, before entering and killing the inhabitants, the first of the locations that make up the Outpost. Shortly thereafter, they ambush a second group of around 40 Saviors, killing them all. There, Daniel reports to Ezekiel that they sustained no casualties in the assault. He is near tears and delighted with the news, and informs Carol, who remains cautious and tells him they need to sweep the compound to be sure there are no survivors. He agrees and lets Carol patrol the grounds. While his men begin putting down the Saviors as they start to reanimate, Ezekiel tells Daniel that it was them or the Saviors. He notices a window in one of the buildings and realizes they are being watched. He yells for his troops to scatter as gunfire begins to rain down upon them. His closest advisors swiftly knock him to the ground, shielding him from the hail of bullets.
In a flashback, Ezekiel dons his king attire before meeting with the townsfolk. His soldiers say their farewells to their families before heading off into battle. Ezekiel addresses the people, acknowledging the hardships that his troops will face on the path to victory, and his certainty of their eventual triumph. He gathers the community together in a joyous embrace.
The scene cuts to the aftermath of the .50 cal assault. All 34 Kingommers are dead, Ezekiel survives the ambush but is shot in the leg. Climbing out underneath the pile of bodies that had shielded him from the attack, a distressed Ezekiel observes his former soldiers on the ground, ripped apart by the hail of bullets. He stops over Daniel's body, letting out a scream of despair, before he notices that some of the fallen Kingdommers have begun to reanimate, including Daniel. Suffering from a severe leg injury and finding that most of his dead men's weapons are low on ammo, he can only crawl away before Alvaro manages to save Ezekiel and informs him that Shiva ran off after the ambush and he helps take Ezekiel to safety.
However, Alvaro is suddenly shot and killed by Gunther, who prepares to take Ezekiel back to The Sanctuary to help clear out enough walkers so that The Saviors can get their guns inside. Along the way, Ezekiel refuses to let Gunther or the Saviors use him against his people, but Gunther insults the Kingdommers before standing on Ezekiel's leg and forcing him back on his feet. On the way forward, Gunther denounces Ezekiel's title and the Kingdom's way of life, exclaiming that under his kingly appearance and mannerisms is just "some meaningless conman in a costume".
Gunther and Ezekiel reach the main gate, where Gunther discovers to his dismay that the gate is padlocked. Ezekiel notes that the herd is bearing down on them and asks for his sword back, suggesting they fight them together. Gunther instead rips off his overcoat, intending to use it to safely climb over the razor wire fence and into the outpost. Ezekiel protests, reminding him of his injured leg, but Gunther kicks him to the ground, declaring that while Negan intended to have the three Militia leaders chained to the Sanctuary fences, he decided to take matters into his own hands with Ezekiel by beheading him and setting his head on a pike. As Gunther prepares to kill Ezekiel, he is suddenly saved by Jerry, who kills Gunther with his battle axe.
Jerry, battered from the war, helps Ezekiel to his feet and props him against the fence. He puts down two former Kingdommers with Ezekiel's sword before returning it to him with a "your Majesty". Ezekiel, discouraged by Gunther's taunts and insults, denounces this, but Jerry insists that he continue bestowing that title on him. He takes his axe and begins swinging at the chain on the gate. Jerry continues to swing at the chain, but finds that it's not breaking. In a last attempt to breach it, he slips the axe's handle through the chain and tries to wrench it off, but breaks the axe head off in the process. The men find that the herd is closing in on them. With no time to break the gate open, both men decide to fight off the herd. Ezekiel and Jerry begin to fight back against the oncoming herd. Jerry takes a moment to thank Ezekiel for "being such a cool dude" before continuing the slaughter.
Flashing back to the Kingdom during preparations for the war, Carol asks if Ezekiel's fought before, to which he confirms, adding that he is ready to fight in the upcoming battle and become a warrior. He recounts his former career as a zookeeper, describing his saving of Shiva as a seconds long decision of whether or not to become the person who would take the risk to better those in need. He further recounts Benjamin's words to him several years afterwards, "If you're asked to be the hero, be the hero." He asks Carol if becoming the stronger person she is now was part of her nature or if it was a choice, like Ezekiel's. She affirms the latter.
In the present, Ezekiel and Jerry prepare to fight the oncoming herd to their deaths but Carol saves them and informs them that the guns are not going to reach The Sanctuary with Daryl and Rick in pursuit. Ezekiel, Jerry and Carol fight their way through more walkers. Ezekiel begins to falter and begs the others to leave him, knowing he'll slow them down with his injury, but they refuse. They eventually reach a polluted creek bed, where more walkers are roaming. They manage to push through, but Ezekiel turns back, fighting off the approaching walkers and yelling for the others to leave him. Jerry refuses to leave, feeling it is his duty to protect his king, Ezekiel breaks down and shouts to Jerry that he is not his majesty, nor a king, just some guy and that this is what the world is now.
Suddenly, Shiva jumps into the fray, mauling walkers and violently throwing several aside. Ezekiel cries out to her in horror, telling her to run, but it was too late, as she is brought down and devoured by the walkers in order to allow their escape. Ezekiel breaks down, totally devastated in losing his beloved friend and companion.
The three make it back to the Kingdom, battered, bruised and broken. The townspeople gather to find that Ezekiel, Carol and Jerry are the only survivors of the fight. Broken-spirited, Ezekiel is at a loss for words and, unable to address the mourning crowd, limps off to his quarters.
Heartbroken and depressed by all the losses he has suffered, Ezekiel hides in his quarters guarded by Jerry who refuses to give up his job. Ezekiel is later confronted by Carol, wearing regular clothes and holding Shiva's leash. Ezekiel insists that he was never a king, he just played a part that he can no longer do and he tells her to leave him alone. While Carol initially complies, she eventually turns back to ask why Ezekiel kept coming to visit her. Ezekiel eventually admits that "it made me feel real, not a fiction. Real."
Carol tells Ezekiel that to her and the people of the Kingdom, he is real and his people need him. Carol reminds Ezekiel that he has his inspired everyone to build the Kingdom, to get this far and they continue to need his leadership. "You have to help them grieve, to move on, to end this. You owe them that, Henry needs you. Those people need King Ezekiel. And if you can't be the king then do what you do best and act the part. I have to act everyday, it used to bother me, but this is who I am and I am still standing. I just have to act like everything is normal, until it is. Its what they need and its what you have to give them." However, Ezekiel continues to refuse.
Ezekiel, still depressed in the theatre, reads a note left by Jerry explaining his decision to join the Alexandrians for the final push and urging Ezekiel to join him. Sitting next to his throne and holding Shiva's leash, he overhears the arrival of Gavin and the Saviors and escapes his throne room as Saviors pour in through the doors.
Later on, Ezekiel uses gasoline-filled barrels to create an explosion as a distraction and drives up inside of a school bus in order to escort the Kingdom residents to safety. As Carol arrives at the gates and with The Saviors in pursuit of him, Ezekiel tells her to save everyone the way she saved him and locks the gates shut using Shiva's chain. Ezekiel is then knocked to the ground and captured by Gavin.
Having captured Ezekiel, Gavin laments that he didn't want this to happen and that he actually liked him, nearly apologizing and feeling great remorse for Benjamin's death, but because of his rebellion, he tells him many more people now have to die. He says that Ezekiel will simply have to swallow it as he does. Gavin tells Ezekiel that the Saviors are going to put his dead body on the Sanctuary fence for all his people to see. Afterwards, he orders his men to take Ezekiel and hold him hostage.
At the Kingdom, Ezekiel is held captive by Gavin. He tells Ezekiel that Negan is going to kill him. "I ferried my people to freedom," Ezekiel says. "What befalls me now matters not." Gavin insists it matters and he liked Ezekiel. Ezekiel understood the world and the terms but now that's all gone thanks to Rick. Ezekiel urges Gavin to join Rick's side before it's too late for him. Gavin barks out orders to his men, but Ezekiel challenges his authority.
A man loads Gavin's truck and Gavin insists they leave some room for Ezekiel. Gavin tries to explain himself to Ezekiel. He wasn't hoping for this and doesn't like it. Ezekiel promises it is not to late to change something already decided but Gavin says Ezekiel did just that and it got him here. He radios for other men but gets no response. Ezekiel again urges him to change his mind. Gunshots ring out and Gavin orders everyone to get Ezekiel inside.
In the theater, Ezekiel is punched by Gavin, who insists it is too late. Ezekiel insists he was once saving Gavin's life, but he is no longer doing that. An explosion rings out from a side door. The Saviors shoot at it. Gavin orders them to stop. Carol and Morgan kick down scenery on the stage and begin the shootout against the Saviors. Gavin is shot in the leg. Carol dives for cover. A Savior tackles Morgan on stage. Ezekiel shoots a Savior who had her pinned down. Morgan wrestles the man on stage. He takes three punches to the face before sticking his hand into a hole in the man's stomach and pulling his guts out.
Ezekiel and Carol are shocked, as is Morgan. Gavin gets up and escapes from the theater with Morgan missing shots at him. Ezekiel suggests they leave, but Morgan tells him all the Saviors are dead, and chases after Gavin.
Ezekiel and Carol catch up to Morgan as he is about to kill Gavin and Ezekiel insists with Morgan to not kill Gavin and calls ending him "the coward's way." Morgan struggles to spare him as Carol also pleads him not to kill Gavin, Morgan insists he has to, but before he can, a fighting stick pierces Gavin's throat, killing him and Henry is revealed to be the killer, shocking Carol and Morgan.
Ezekiel soothes Henry and tells him not to look at Gavin's body. Carol berates Henry for not staying behind and disobeying her, but Ezekiel assures Henry that everything will work out. "All will be resolved" he tells him.
Ezekiel is shown preparing for battle against the Saviors. Henry wants to join the fight, but Ezekiel orders him to defend the Hilltop from the inside and keep others alive. When Simon's convoy arrives, Daryl leads themthrough the gate. Hilltoppers block the convoy with a bus and Ezekiel and everyone open fire at the Saviors. The battle begins in earnest.
Ezekiel and Rosita shoot out the headlights on the Savior vehicles. Hilltop goes silent and dark. Simon, Dwight and the Saviors prepare to enter the Barrington House. As they ready their attack, a row of headlights turn on and blind the Saviors as the house's windows light up with gunfire directed at the Saviors. Ezekiel and the others manage to survive the attack as the remaining Saviors flee.
Mayhem breaks out during the night as the walkers attack. Ezekiel helps fight back against the walkers. Ezekiel puts down a reanimated Kevin, while Rick, Morgan and Daryl kill the remaining walkers. They notice that the walkers were all their people.
The next day, Ezekiel and Carol search for Henry, who went missing during the night. Enid comes in to tell everyone that Henry broke into the pen before escaping. Everyone rushes to find him.
Ezekiel asks Carol to help search for Henry, but she declines. Ezekiel realizes that Carol believes Henry is dead. He fears for Henry and he thought Carol was the bravest, but thinks he was wrong now, calling her a coward and leaves.
Later on, Jerry rushes to Ezekiel to share the good news, just as Carol and Henry enter the community. Ezekiel embraces with Henry and is grateful to Carol.
Carol tells Ezekiel that he was right about her being afraid. He tells her she is no coward. She explains that she lost herself after her daughter died, but that she found a better version of herself as a part of Rick's group.
As Hilltoppers mobilize to ambush the Saviors, Ezekiel predicts it could be the last morning for some of them. Ezekiel accompanies Rick and the rest of the militia to fight the Saviors in the final battle. After most of the Saviors are wiped out due to Eugene’s faulty bullets, Ezekiel and the others fight the surviving Saviors until they surrender. He watches on as Negan is defeated and captured while Rick addresses the crowd, declaring peace among all communities. Afterwards, Ezekiel returns home to the Kingdom.
Ezekiel will appear in this episode.
This list shows the victims Ezekiel has killed:
- Nelson (Caused)
- Kevin (Zombified)
- Lance (Alongside his fellow Militia members)
- 2 unnamed Scavengers
- 2 unnamed Kingdom soldiers (Zombified, Out of Mercy)
- 36 unnamed Saviors (5 Direct, 30 alongside his fellow Kingdommers, 1 Zombified)
- 1 unnamed Hilltop resident/refugee (Zombified)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- The casting call for this character used the name "Augustus".
- Ezekiel's cane is a Shikomizue, a Japanese sword mounting meant to conceal a sword in the guise of a cane.
- Ezekiel has killed the eighth largest amount of living characters on the TV show with at least 39 victims, Dwight has the seventh largest with at least 42, Morgan has the sixth largest with at least 45, The Governor has the fifth largest with at least 62, Rick and Daryl are tied as having the fourth largest with at least 68, Carol has the third largest with at least 93, Simon has the second largest at least 172, Negan has the largest with a total of at least 225.