‘The Walking Dead’s Melissa McBride Believes Carzekiel “Isn’t Finished” Yet

The Walking Dead star Melissa McBride believes “Carzekiel” — the fairytale romance between McBride’s Carol and husband King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) — isn’t over just yet despite their separation in the Season Nine finale.

“I think they really have a beautiful relationship and it was a wonderful fairytale for Carol. The magic of the Kingdom, the liveliness of the Kingdom... I don’t think that they’re finished,” McBride said on live aftershow Talking Dead. “She got to keep the ring. He said that he’ll continue to love her. And I think it was what she needed at the time, certainly. I don’t think it’s finished.”

McBride recalled a comfy scene set around a campfire and notes Carol centers herself with her makeshift family, explaining in part her decision to reintegrate back into her old home of Alexandria while Ezekiel oversees Hilltop.

“I think too at this point, she said to him in that campfire scene back at the Hilltop when they were watching everyone, and she was watching the family. She said, ‘When I get to that place where I feel like I’m gonna lose myself, I always come back to these people. Put me back on my feet, I can ground myself again. To have these people, the love of these people,’” McBride said. “So I think right now she needs to go to Alexandria.”

For showrunner Angela Kang, Season Nine was always going to shatter Carol’s fairytale with the death of her and Ezekiel’s adopted son Henry (Matt Lintz), who was one of the ten victims slaughtered by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers.

“We planned since the very beginning of the season that this season would tell the story of Carol’s kind of fairytale in the Kingdom, and her life with Ezekiel, and with Henry, and we felt like this was one chapter of her story,” Kang said on Talking Dead.

“And just like the chapter of her story that sort of changed when Sophia (Madison Lintz) died — and Carol really became the sort of badass Carol we all know and love — sadly, the truth is a lot of couples that lose a child, this really, it could break up their marriage. It certainly either can reveal cracks that were there or cause them even if they weren’t there, and so we wanted to play that kind of emotional truth between them.”

Kang added Carol’s life at the Kingdom with her new family “was sort of this package deal where she got to almost have this bizarro version of the life that she had with the family that wasn’t happy before,” referencing Carol’s abusive late husband Ed (Adam Minarovich).

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A counter to that abuse arrived in Season Nine when Carol, now feeling safe and content amid life at the Kingdom, debuted a new long-haired look as an expression of her newfound happiness. Both Carol and Ezekiel are now poised for all-new stories in Season Ten, set to open new chapters for the royal former couple.

The Walking Dead Season Ten premieres on AMC in October.