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With the second half of season seven of The Walking Dead looming, one of the show’s charismatic new faces in Khary Payton opened up on what’s developing with King Ezekiel and one of his newest residents of the Kingdom in Carol (Melissa McBride).

Payton spoke with Comicbook.com about how Ezekiel is trying to build a rapport with Carol, who’s kept herself distant from attaching herself to anyone save for her existing relationship with Morgan (Lennie James).

“Man, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. That woman is hard to read. I know that Ezekiel likes her. I’m not sure how much he likes her. I think Ezekiel likes a challenge more than anything. Carol is definitely a challenge, but I honestly can’t tell which way it’s going to go. She’s a tough nut to crack.”

Ezekiel, not one to be deterred, has been trying to get Carol to open up by periodically visiting her at a house just outside of the borders of the Kingdom. The house was a compromise of Carol and Ezekiel from her intentions to be as far away from humanity as possible.

The dynamic of the relationship may fulfill and tease a role for Carol in the way the Michonne originally had in the comic book as she became romantically involved with Ezekiel. TV Michonne (Danai Gurira) ended up with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) whereas his comic counterpart and Andrea developed their romantic relationship.

Comic version Carol diverted far from her TV counterpart since TV Carol seemed to have acquired comic Andrea’s resolve and ability to be a badass efficient killer. Also, TV Carol and comic Andrea are very much alive while comic Carol became hopeless in her romantic ventures dying wastefully, kind of like TV Andrea (Laurie Holden) did following her relationship with the Governor (David Morrissey).

How do you feel about Carol and Ezekiel going into the second half of season 7? Will Carol be the bridge to get Ezekiel and the Kingdom join the fight with Rick and the Alexandrians to against Negan and the saviors?

The Walking Dead returns Sunday February 12 on AMC.

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