Relationships are certainly not one of The Walking Dead’s strengths. Although there was a time when the bonds between characters were one of the main reasons fans tuned in every Sunday night, the writers have since lost their touch.
On TWD, most relationships are established offscreen and later revealed to the audience in a way that is presumably meant to create shock value. A relationship like Carol and Ezekiel's, that has garnered very few supporters, seems destined to fail. It also didn't help that most of the fanbase's affection had long since belonged to the ubiquitous will-they-won't-they bond that already existed between Carol and Daryl.
Carol and Ezekiel, the now (sort of) married couple, are not a hit with the audience. Let's explore some of the reasons why this might be.
10 CAROL SHOWED NO INTEREST IN EZEKIEL UNTIL HE STALKED HER
When Carol and Morgan arrived at the Kingdom early in season 7, they met King Ezekiel for the first time. Carol was incredulous, calling the Kingdom a circus. Later, Ezekiel opened up to her, conveying that his "King" persona is not necessarily who he really is. However, Carol was not won over.
There is a difference between pursuing someone and stalking someone. Quickly, Ezekiel crossed that line. Carol left the Kingdom to live in a nearby house, where she was visited by the King constantly. Despite the fact that she stated her annoyance multiple times, he ignored her, continuing to show up at her door.
9 EZEKIEL CALLED CAROL A COWARD
When Carol was first introduced back in the first season of TWD, she was a quiet housewife living under the shadow of her abusive husband. Today, Carol's evolution is widely regarded as one of the most iconic character transformations in the series.
In a season 8 episode, Ezekiel tries to convince Carol to search for Henry, who had (of course) run off. Carol was new to the Kingdom at this time, and didn't know Ezekiel or Henry all that well. Her refusal to drop everything and search for Ezekiel's kid led to a conversation in which he called her a coward. Even though Carol has long since overcome her past, such an insult had to sting, and was way out of line.
8 THEIR ROMANCE IS CONTRIVED
This is a common theme in many TWD relationships. But since Carol and Ezekiel's bond was so poorly developed, every aspect of it felt forced from the beginning. The scenes they share are filled with uncomfortable flirting and stilted dialogue.
Their lack of chemistry also plays a role in this problem. The two don't seem to fit together naturally, and their scenes lack flow. Moments that should be touching or cute, wind up making the TWD writers come across as bad salesmen who are repeatedly attempting to sell the audience something they hate.
7 THEIR RELATIONSHIP MOVED WAY TOO FAST
By season 9, Carol had moved in with Ezekiel and they had adopted Henry. In the TWD timeline, the duo had only known each other for a few months when this occurred. Maybe that's long enough to begin a fledgeling romance, but it was definitely not long enough to move that fast.
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Not only did Carol and Ezekiel adopt Henry, but he also seems to be the main focal point of their relationship. It was already a questionable decision on the writers' part, that the viewers never got to see the beginning of Carol and Ezekiel's romance. So it certainly does not serve to make people root for them, when it feels as though they are a manufactured instant family.
6 THEIR ROMANCE DEVELOPED OFFSCREEN
It's actually generous to say that even a tiny percentage of the TWD fanbase cared for this couple from day one. When it was revealed that Carol and Ezekiel were an item, the fans that weren’t angry, really didn't care.
The audience was never shown the moment that Carol and Ezekiel decided they were romantically interested in each other. Their first kiss didn't occur onscreen. A chance to watch them grow close or get to know each other, was never presented. Carol and Ezekiel's relationship holds about as much water as a chocolate teapot, since the audience was never given any reason to care about these two.
5 THEIR ENGAGEMENT WAS LAME
When Ezekiel pulled out a ring early in the ninth season, Carol told him to "put that thing away". How romantic. Later, she reconsidered. She tried the ring on and that was that. But this proposal was very anticlimactic for a character like Ezekiel, who goes over the top with everything in his life.
Wouldn't it be logical to assume that a larger-than-life guy would go over the top when it came to proposing to what everyone's supposed to believe is the love of his life? Apparently not.
What's even stranger than this lame proposal, is the fact that Carol doesn’t seem too keen on getting married to the King any time soon. So for over six years, they’ve simply been engaged.
From his ridiculous impulses, to the fact that he is clearly not equipped with the appropriate survival skills for a post-apocalyptic world, Henry is nothing but a nuisance.
Over the course of the series, Carol has made it her duty to teach children survival tactics. She was frequently hard on them, but she was advocating for their lives. Somehow, with Henry (the kid she actually considers to be her own), all that changed. Together, Carol and Ezekiel have raised an incompetent boy who makes reckless, selfish decisions that endanger himself and everyone in his vicinity.
3 CAROL AND EZEKIEL HAD OPPOSING PERSONALITIES
As stated above, Carol's parenting methods went through a drastic transformation when she became the Queen to Ezekiel's King. Along with this, her personality also suffered significant changes.
When Ezekiel was first introduced, there was a stark contrast between him and Carol. TWD writers offered absolutely no explanation as to why she went from rolling her eyes at his antics, to encouraging them. It seems that Carol had to mould herself into something of a different person to begin a relationship with Ezekiel. Now, after more than six years of this relationship, she is almost unrecognizable.
2 THE ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP WAS A COP-OUT
It's no secret that TWD writers spent season upon season building…something between Carol and Daryl. Though they never confirmed what this something was, their "friendship" certainly earned a massive fanbase. This made Carol and Ezekiel's already unpopular relationship absolutely infuriating to a majority of the TWD fanbase.
Turning Carol and Daryl's relationship into a romantic one would have been a sensible decision. The duo already had years of development put into them, and they were one of the most popular aspects of the show. Due to this, TWD writers' decision to go with Carol and Ezekiel is one that is hard to understand; and it doesn't seem that they did themselves or the show any favours.
1 CAROL'S STORYLINE REVOLVES AROUND EZEKIEL
It seems that there are two kinds of TWD characters: the ones that float around and never receive a smidge of development, and the ones who actually have a lot of time and arcs put into them. Something that inevitably happens to the second category is that TWD writers eventually decide to throw away all that development, in favour of turning their characters into plot devices. Carol was one of the most iconic and well-developed characters on TWD, and Melissa McBride's portrayal brought even more depth to the table.
Sadly, several of the aspects that the audience loved, seem to be nonexistent now. Carol's role in the show now is simply to be King Ezekiel's wife, and Henry's mother. It is certainly not a justifiable arc for such a captivating character.