Throughout all of The Walking Dead's seventh season, Carol and Ezekiel began to form a strong bond, one that many fans have been thinking will lead to some kind of romantic relationship. However, as the King has confidently marched his soldiers into battle in the early episodes of Season Eight, Carol hasn't seemed like she's totally on board with everything happening.
How does Carol really feel about Ezekiel and his unorthodox leadership style?
We had a chance to catch up with Carol herself, Melissa McBride, and ask her about that very situation. When we brought up Carol's recent attitude towards Ezekiel, McBride revealed that it's her character's own experience that's standing in her way, not Ezekiel's demeanor.
"She's reserved because she understands," McBride explained. "She's been through a little bit more outside the Kingdom walls than the King himself has, and while he's very, very optimistic, he's not giving up the fight in any way. That's something that's driving him is him optimism, so she's not going to mess with that.
"And who knows if those people were aware of the reality of how bad it could get to come with us to help fight. She understands that, so if she has any reservations, I don't think she's putting it all out on the table. As long as they're heading forward and going to the battle to try to win this war, he can have his optimism."
When it comes to Ezekiel's overly confident personality, McBride said that Carol is divided about how she feels. Does she find his optimism endearing or aggravating?
"I think it's a little bit of both," McBride admitted. "It's endearing, and it's a hopefulness that not a lot of the characters feel much anymore. That deep down, genuine hopefulness. Also, I think she was just endeared by him at the beginning. Once he took his guard down, once he pulled the Ezekiel The King mask off... You know, she wears her own masks, and her going into battle is the one she's wearing right now. And the King, he's putting it on in front of her when other people are around, so she understands that sometimes you have to play this character in order to survive the moment, and it's kind of what he falls back into. He feels powerful as the king. He feels a familiarity with who he was. It's what he holds onto. He was the actor in the theater, that piece of him, and she understands that, and of course she's endeared by that."