If you watch The Walking Dead TV series but have never ready the comics, you probably have one big question on your mind: WHO IS EZEKIEL?
The season 7 trailer, which debuted in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con, revealed the character for the first time as he'll be joining the show when it returns this fall. Comic fans have been expecting the extravagant leader for months but fans exclusively dedicated to the TV series have no idea who this guy is and where that tiger came from.
You're in luck - I have the answers you seek. Be warned, that does mean spoilers from the comics are fair game from here on out.
Ezekiel is the leader of a community called The Kingdom. The Kingdom, in the comics, is a college campus turned into a community similar to that of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. They are a bit more established the Alexandria, though.
Ezekiel leads the group with a level headed approach but distances himself from the community by calling himself the king, acting like a king, and keeping a pet tiger. Prior to the end of the world, Ezekiel was a zookeeper. The tiger, also seen in the season 7 trailer alongside Ezekiel, has remained loyal to her master and defends him from threats such as walkers. She is immune to the virus but not immortal to being eaten or injured.
When the show returns, should it follow the comics, we can expect to see Ezekiel link up with Rick Grimes and help our beloved survivors rise from the ashes and eventually battle against Negan's rule. The men in combat gear, first seen in the last few episodes of season six, are very loyal to serving Ezekiel and serve as valuable soldiers for the war to come.
For a while, Ezekiel is very introverted. He does not like allowing himself to be vulnerable and blocks those who try to get close to him. Eventually, he and Michonne end up in a relationship which will be an interesting story point on television, seeing as Michonne ended up being Rick's gal.
The character is being played by Khary Payton. If that name sounds familiar, you're probably a fan of Teen Titans Go!, which is were Payton voices Cyborg.
We'll learn more about the TV version of Ezekiel when The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23.