‘The Walking Dead’: Why Carol and Ezekiel Broke Up Ahead of New Stories in Season 10

The fairytale is over. The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang has revealed why the filmmakers used the death of Henry (Matt Lintz) to separate King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Queen Carol (Melissa McBride), and what’s still ahead for the grieving parents.

“We came at it from a perspective of Carol has had these chapters in her life. In a lot of ways, when Sophia (Madison Lintz) died, that catapulted her into another chapter of her life,” Kang told EW. “She had to question this abusive relationship she had, her feelings of inadequacy, her feelings of weakness. And she eventually became the badass, you can’t mess with me Carol that we know and love. But that all came at a cost. Having to kill and kill and kill and kill, it really took a toll on her.”

But the royal couple’s six-year marriage ended in a parting of ways in Sunday’s Season Nine finale, where Carol declared she would once again take up residency within Alexandria while Ezekiel oversees his flock at Hilltop. It’s the biggest fallout from the death of Henry, who was targeted and murdered by Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton).

“So she got to live out the fairytale chapter of her life. When we knew that Alpha would strike against Henry, we really talked about that in real life, it’s very common for couples that lose a child to break up. The grief can be overwhelming,” Kang explained.

“It can reveal cracks in a relationship that maybe were there all along, or can create new cracks. So we wanted to play the emotional truth of that and the fact that, for Carol, part of that fairytale of being at the Kingdom, it was a package deal. It was Ezekiel. It was Henry. It was the place. It was all the people. And so when all of that falls apart, what she refers to as the thing that is always the thing that she kind of wants to revert to, which is, I just want to run away from it — it becomes a big part of her story going forward.”

Also poised for a new story moving forward is Ezekiel, who outlived his comic book counterpart when he avoided falling victim to Alpha and the pikes.

“There’s definitely a lot of fertile ground for Ezekiel, because the interesting thing with our show is we rarely kill a person the same way on the show that [Robert] Kirkman did in the comic. Glenn (Steven Yeun) is a notable exception,” Kang said.

“We definitely have a story that I’m really excited about telling for Ezekiel in season 10. I’ve talked to Khary about it. It opens a door to do something that’s different and really hopefully interesting for people to see with Ezekiel in the next chapter of dealing with the breakup of his home and his family and the loss of his child. Hopefully good character stuff can come out of it all.”

The Walking Dead Season Ten premieres this October on AMC.

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