'The Walking Dead: Khary Payton on Ezekiel, Carol, and Meeting the Whisperers

The Walking Dead star Khary Payton is currently playing a character with a strong woman at his side but neither of them know of the lingering threat to their communities -- important details moving forward.

Right now, Payton's King Ezekiel is mostly concerned with pulling off a Fair which will unite the communities as a means to establish trade and help rebuild the Kingdom. However, the Whisperers are about to launch a war against Daryl and the Hilltop as an infiltration of their land and camp resulted in several Whisperers being killed. King Ezekiel knows nothing about this, at the moment.

"I don't think he knows about the Whisperers yet, but I think he's going to be horrified just like anybody who comes across the Whisperers," Payton told Insider. "I keep saying it, but they take people's faces and put 'em on their faces. That is just nasty. That is just freaking nasty, and I don't think there's any way else to react to that except some sort of revulsion."

While King Ezekiel is one of the early victims of the Whisperers in The Walking Dead, Payton seems optimistic that his version of the character will live to see more of the villains. "As far as how to deal with them, I think we've learned from Ezekiel he's a thoughtful ruler and he doesn't like to lash out without thinking things through," Payton said. "And I think him freaking out at what the Whisperers are and how they operate, is probably gonna give him some pause."

The Whisperers are not the only thing Ezekiel is not entirely aware of. In the first half of Season Nine, Carol finished off the Saviors by lighting their remaining members on fire. It doesn't seem as though Carol expressed this event to any of those around her with Henry being the only one to possibly catch on. Ezekiel, however, might have suspicions.


"They didn't show all of it, and there's a chance that maybe he knows a little more, or he suspects more," Payton said. "I feel like there's a chance that he suspects something from that when she said, but I don't think she divulged everything that happened to Jed and all of that with them. I think she kept that to herself."

Still, it doesn't seem Ezekiel would hold the move against his Queen. "I think he knows that that's the woman that she is, but I think that despite doing that, I still think that there's enough of Carol the reluctant killer, that she feels a little weird about sharing that," Payton said. "Like maybe, a little bit of shame that it was so easy. Because in her life, although she's been a killer, it hasn't always been that easy."