The Walking Dead star Khary Payton hints Ezekiel and wife Carol (Melissa McBride) could find their way back to one another after their separation, which has since seen Carol rejoin Alexandria while Ezekiel oversees the Hilltop alone.
“That girl is just a tough nut to crack, man. I’ve been throwing pomegranates and melons and all kinds of livestock at the woman, I don’t know what to do,” Payton joked at Walker Stalker Con Chicago. “I did the best I could. She needs some alone time.”
The “Carzekiel” relationship wasn’t the only institution to crumble in the Season Nine finale: after the disastrous events of the trade fair, which ended with the death of Ezekiel and Carol’s son Henry (Matt Lintz), the decaying Kingdom fell victim to its disrepair, forcing King Ezekiel and Queen Carol to shutter their home and take refuge among the neighboring communities.
“I love that they were just like, ‘You know what? The Kingdom fell apart.’ And we like looked the other direction, and looked back, and there were just holes everywhere,” Payton said. “I thought we were doing a good job! We had all this duct tape, no more duct tape. That’s what happens when you run out of duct tape in the Kingdom.”
“Henry had one job to do,” joked Cooper Andrews, who plays Ezekiel’s loyal right-hand man Jerry.
“Dude! Dude, we were like, ‘Just go learn some blacksmithing and come back.’ Instead he goes girl crazy, starts drinking, losing it... losing everything,” Payton said. “I know, I know. Kids. What are you gonna do?”
When not-so-seriously addressing the relationship-ending death of their son, Payton said Ezekiel and Carol “both reacted pretty badly to the whole thing.”
“Ever since Carol came around, you know, Ezekiel’s just losing sons left and right,” Payton joked, referencing former son figure Benjamin (Logan Miller), Henry’s older brother.
“We gotta keep the kids away from Carol! From the ages of like eight to 17, they should just leave. They should just leave for a while and come back when they’re college age. But I think there’s a wheelhouse there where Carol being around the kids is just a bad idea. I think that’s one thing we’ve all learned over the course of these last few seasons. Love her to death, keep her away from the children.”
McBride, meanwhile, expects the couple’s “wonderful fairytale” to continue: “I don’t think that they’re finished,” McBride said on Talking Dead following the Season Nine closer.
“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.”
The Walking Dead returns with its tenth season later this year on AMC.
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