The Walking Dead's new showrunner, Angela Kang, confirms that Melissa McBride's Carol and Khary Payton's Ezekiel will be romantically involved in the post-apocalyptic's show's upcoming ninth season. Kang was named the newest showrunner for the AMC series earlier this year but has been working on the project since its sophomore season. Unlike her predecessor, she has been more forthcoming details about the series, which fans appreciate to some degree.
For a long time, The Walking Dead's golden couple was Maggie and Glenn, replaced by Rick and Michonne. But while viewers still don't know how Andrew Lincoln will exit the show, the fact remains that sometime in this season, Michonne will have to move on by herself, leaving the show without a romantic relationship involving the series' main cast. Fortunately, a brand new relationship is poised to finally become official once the show starts a brand new outing later this year.
During The Walking Dead season 9 preview special last Sunday (via ComicBook), Kang confirmed that Carol and Ezekiel will be an item in the show's upcoming season after a fan asked the question about the two's relationship status considering that the show is executing a time-jump. Sadly, other than that, the showrunner didn't give any more specifics details, especially with regard to rumors that the two may even get married. That said, Payton had nothing but good things about his co-star, McBride, especially now that they've been working closer than ever.
"I'm personally having a lovely time. Working with Melissa is always amazing. I always say she is the best acting coach I've ever had! It just so happens, I don't have to pay her. Whatever I'm feeling about a scene, she can say something or point something out, and my world changes."
As for fans of Carol and Daryl? Kang assured them that they will still have plenty of interactions between the two close friends. "It's not that Carol and Daryl don't have their special time," she said. The Walking Dead previously tried building a romantic relationship involving the two, but that didn't have any pay-off as both had very different personal arcs in the last few seasons of the AMC series. In hindsight, it's also for the better that the show didn't move forward with their initial plans of having the two involved. Their relationship is perhaps one of the most unique and well-developed bonds in the franchise. Making them just another couple in the show would've weakened the impact of their connection to the show.
It remains to be seen how fans will ultimately receive a full-blown affair between Ezekiel and Carol. But to AMC's credit, they've been laying the foundation of this specific subplot since Carol found herself in The Kingdom, which makes the forthcoming turn of events believable. One thing's for sure, with so many things expected to happen in The Walking Dead season 9, it's undoubtedly a breath of fresh air following several previous seasons revolving around the battle against Negan.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres October 7 on AMC.