SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers from “East,” tonight’s episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” follow. At publication, the episode has yet to air on the west coast. This article also includes spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the comics.
We may be reading too far into things, but did “The Walking Dead” just introduce us to The Kingdom?
For the uninitiated, The Kingdom is part of the same network as the Hilltop Colony and Alexandria — communities aligned with each other in their trading of services and rivalry with The Saviors. However, The Kingdom stands apart from the others because of its theatricality: Not only could their leader, Ezekiel, pass for a more rustic version of George Clinton — he also walks around with a living, breathing tiger at his side.
None of this is featured on “East,” but during their search for Carol, Rick and Morgan stumble upon a barn occupied by a man who may be one of Ezekiel’s followers. In the Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, several of The Kingdom’s survivors dress as knights, and while the show doesn’t focus long enough on the guy to confirm anything (he runs away as Walkers close in on the property), from a distance, it looks like he’s wearing some kind of protective armor. Also, Rick and Morgan discover that he’s been using medieval-looking spears to take down the zombies.
This by no means proves anything. For one, The Kingdom of the comics is in Washington D.C., plus the mysterious man could have easily been wearing more contemporary combat gear. Then again, fans have wondered how well the knight concept would translate to television, so maybe this is a happy medium between the modern era and full-on Medieval Times.
With only one episode left in the sixth season, the series might not answer any of these questions until next year. But it certainly provides some interesting (zombie) food for thought. Tonight’s full recap is here.