Ever since King Ezekiel pulled the curtain back on his extravagant style of leading his Kingdom community and revealed his true colors to Carol Pelettier in the second episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season, fans have been wondering if the two will form something romantic.
Part of this stems from expectations for Carol to fill Michonne's comic book role on television and part of it is just fans looking for a new relationship to get behind on The Walking Dead. Still, beyond Carol and Ezekiel's moment in The Well episode, there has been little more to develop the hopes of seeing the two become more than just friends.
Joining ComicBook.com for the live After the Dead recap show on Sunday night, King Ezekiel actor Khary Payton addressed the matter, once and for all. As it turns out, the shippers (as the pro-relationship bunch called across Twitter and Tumblr) might end up being let down.
"I think the fans are doing extra shipping for no reason," Payton said. They've been shipping Daryl and Carol for seven years now and I don't think anything's happened. We just had an episode and we were already running through the field with flowers and having a picnic."
Of course, the rooting for romance is only fueled by endless memes and tweets but all of this stemmed from one episode. "It's crazy, man," Payton said. "People take it and run with it. Obviously, there's a relationship there. Romantic? I don't know."
Still, Payton is a good sport and encourages fans to have fun with their hopes. "Ship away!" Payton said. It's all in good fun!" As supportive as he may be, the King can't get behind any of the name mash-ups which have made the rounds on the hashtag circuits. "I can't do Carzekiel."
"Having a name like Khary is tough enough as far as I'm concerned," Payton said. "Maybe after I've been on the show a few times people will start pronouncing my name right. I don't want confuse them with another name."
Speaking to ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview ahead of the midseason 7 finale, Payton went into more detail regarding his perspective of the relationship. "That woman is hard to read," Payton said. "I know that Ezekiel likes her. I'm not sure how much he likes her. I think Ezekiel likes a challenge more than anything. Carol is definitely a challenge, but I honestly can't tell which way it's going to go. She's a tough nut to crack."