The Walking Dead’s executive producer and showrunner Angela has teased a huge change of direction for King Ezekiel (played by Khary Payton) in season 10 of the hit AMC series.
Following the leader’s break-up from Carol (Melissa McBride), Ezekiel experiences a dramatic change in personality, and viewers may not be expecting it.
The character has had a monumental journey over the course of the series, and his hopes for the survivors have been crushed more than once.
Fans finally thought Ezekiel would get a slice of happiness with Carol, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, and the character will be forced to address his entire life when the series returns later this year.
Hinting at what’s to come for the former King at Comic Con last month, Angela said: “I think Ezekiel, he’s definitely dealing with issues of leadership and what his place in the world is.
“I think Khary is doing an amazing job with the journey that he’s on this season.”
“I don’t want to say too much about it,” the writer continued. “Because I think it will be a surprise left turn for people.
“But a lot of deep and touching work by our wonderful Khary Payton.”
In the original comics by Robert Kirkman, Ezekiel’s story arc was very different.
The character was beheaded in the pike attack on the survivors, but the producers decided to air that scene at the end of season nine, and surprisingly Ezekiel lived through the gore.
More recently teasing Ezekiel’s future the next season, Angela told Entertainment Weekly that the leader could have all manner of twists and turns to come.
She explained: “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.”
And what’s more, the latest trailer showed Ezekiel moving on with Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) former girlfriend Michonne (Danai Gurira).
The pair’s unexpected connection has come out of the blue for fans of the zombie thriller, but it makes sense the two lost souls could find common ground after their respective losses.
Both actors are keeping their lips sealed about the storyline as it stands, but they don’t have long to find out.
Michonne will be exiting the series in season 10, so there could be yet more heartbreak ahead.
The Walking Dead returns October 7 on FOX in the UK.