'The Walking Dead': Khary Payton on King Ezekiel's Death Approaching

As The Walking Dead approaches its Whisperer War story on the AMC series, King Ezekiel actor Khary Payton is not exactly sweating over his character meeting the same fate as the comic book counterpart.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics follow. Major spoilers!

In issue #145 of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comics, King Ezekiel was discovered to be murdered by the Whisperers. His head was placed on a pike, with several other key characters, as a means to mark the Whisperer territory and send a message to Alexandria. With the Whisperers having debuted on AMC's live-action adaptation, many are worried about King Ezekiel's grim fate approaching but not Payton.

"You know what? It's not nerve wracking because this entire experience of being on this show and playing Ezekiel has been so amazing," Payton told ComicBook.com. "One thing you have to understand about being on this show is that nothing is promised to anybody."

He's not wrong. The show has ruthlessly taken out fan-favorite characters through its nine years on air, including roles played by Chandler Riggs, Jon Bernthal, and Steven Yeun. Some of these stories have followed the comics, some of them have been deviations.

"Anybody could go at any point, and that's just the nature of the show," Payton said. "It's like, smoke 'em while you got 'em. Enjoy it while it lasts, and try not to live thinking about the future. Just enjoy the present moment, because who knows? I could be hanging around for a couple years, or I could be gone tomorrow. They always end up switching the things up with the comics, so who knows which way it might actually end up."

Payton has quickly become a fan-favorite character on The Walking Dead. He may have that going in his favor when it comes to employment with the series, seeing as several fan-favorite characters have been killed off or otherwise exited recently. How many more can they spare?

"In my mind, I was like, 'I'm just not gonna look forward. I'm gonna stay here, in this moment,'" Payton said. "The job of an actor is to stay present in the story that you're telling. This is just another exercise in that. But to me, you know, no matter what happens, I feel incredibly grateful for the time that I've been given on this show. The truth is that there is nothing promised to anybody on this show. Everybody is expendable."

2comments

Do you think The Walking Dead will kill of King Ezekiel? Will you riot if he dies? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

The Walking Dead TV series returns for the back half of its ninth season on February 10, 2019 at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.