In a little over a month, fans of The Walking Dead will finally find out which character (or characters) met their end at the hands of Negan's beloved barbed-wire baseball bat Lucille during the season finale. April's final episode unceremoniously finished on a cliffhanger with the new villain (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) choosing a victim just as the screen went black. Season 7 will now focus on the aftermath of this horrifying event, as well as Rick and his group's struggle for revenge.
Along the way, they'll meet the inhabitants of the Kingdom, who will be essential to defeating Negan and The Saviors. From the comics, we know they're led by King Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva and are close friends with the Hilltop Colony. Ezekiel is eccentric, flamboyant, with a bit of a god complex, and he'll be Rick's greatest ally in the upcoming war. The union between Rick's group, the Alexandria Survivors, the Hilltop Colony residents, and the Kingdom will soon change the series as we know it.
Ezekiel and his Kingdom will be introduced in the third episode of this coming season, though we've already seen some of them in the newest trailer. One of these new characters is played by Logan Miller, who at first would only say he's "one of the important soldiers' in the Kingdom. Yet in a recent interview with ComicBook.com, he let a few more details slip about the new society:
“The only thing I can even say is its unlike anything that's been seen on Walking Dead so far. It's crazy. Everybody knows Ezekiel and the Kingdom from the comics. I think depicting that on screen, it has a crazy world to it that almost feel to me very Mad Max-ish or like living in the realm of the Thunder Dome or Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness situation.”
Hardcore and gritty to extremes is the perfect way to describe the post-apocalyptic worlds of Mad Max and Evil Dead. Until now, The Walking Dead has featured a world overrun by zombies, but one that is still mostly recognizable as Rick's survivors struggle to survive. However, Ezekiel's the Kingdom is in another place entirely, since they've accepted this new world and have taken charge of it. And Ezkiel is really at the crux of this big change as Miller reminds fans:
“Ezekiel is a fantastical character. Seeing him in it, kind of blowing the veil back and seeing what he's actually about, I think fans are really going to enjoy. He's such a unique character, it's going to bring some heightened drama I suppose to The Walking Dead.”
Just like the two film series mentioned, The Walking Dead is about to get larger than life with the big war looming, introducing the Kingdom and Ezekiel overshadowing it all. Although Negan and his decision has received most of the publicity for the past six months, that's all about to change. Once the new season premieres and the big reveal is out in the open, all eyes will be on these newcomers and the craziness that is about to take over AMC's hit show.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres October 23 on AMC.