Welcome to The Kingdom

We’re only two episodes into season 7, but “The Well” was a slowdown that we so desperately needed.   Last week’s episode was heavy, but this week had a lighter tone, and dare I say it, offered a glimmer of hope?


The episode opens with Morgan and Carol traveling to a community with the group of strangers they had encountered last season.  There is a run-in with a herd of walkers, and these strangers prove that they are skilled at fighting and more than capable of handling themselves in this world.  But Morgan is hesitant to trust them just yet, and he marks his way back to Alexandria by carving an arrow into a mailbox post.

The place they’re taken to?  The Kingdom, and the audience probably had the same reaction as Carol did when they learned about the leader: I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way.  King Ezekiel is his name, and medieval times is his game.  He’s eccentric and charismatic, and he tops it all off by having a pet tiger named Shiva.

While Carol is off doing her own thing, which includes taking on her trademark “Suzy the Homemaker” appearance, Morgan is recruited to join King Ezekiel and a small group of knights on a hunting trip.  Only this trip isn’t an ordinary hunting trip, and their kills aren’t intended for them.  A group of hogs are herded into a building with a walker as bait, and Morgan later learns that this is The Kingdom’s offering to the Saviors.  Ezekiel appears to have a much more civil relationship with Negan than any of the other communities do, but it is a relationship that he keeps hidden from his community.


Morgan is finding a niche in this community, and he takes on young Benjamin as a protégé, teaching him how to fight and passing down the knowledge that Eastman had given him.  Carol, on the other hand, has no interest in staying in this circus and is ready to get out as soon as possible.  She doesn’t get far in her escape, though, and Ezekiel drops his act when he gets alone time with her.  According to him, “you can’t bullshit the bullshitter.”  He can see right through her act because he is putting on an act himself.  His people needed someone to follow, and he fell into that role.  Ezekiel apologizes for whatever bad she’s been through, and promises her that where’s there’s life there’s hope.  He also offers her a safer escape, and in the morning she and Morgan head back to the house where Morgan had marked an arrow on the mailbox post.  They part ways, only to have King Ezekiel show up to see Carol a short while later.

The Kingdom is unlike any other community that our band of survivors has ever encountered; it’s not just surviving, it’s thriving.  There are gardens and choirs, kids attending school.  It’s perhaps the safest and most self-sustaining community we’ve seen on The Walking Dead.  But it became obvious fairly quickly that the reaches of Negan extend far beyond just Alexandria and the Hilltop, and while Ezekiel may be king, Negan controls this world.  The introduction of The Kingdom offers hope, though, and the possibility that The Saviors can be defeated.  Between Alexandria, The Hilltop, and The Kingdom (which has a giant tiger on their side), do the Saviors stand a chance?


  • And more animals lost their lives on The Walking Dead. Will there ever come a day where an animal actually survives?  That being said, Shiva the tiger was saved, and we couldn’t be happier.
  • The Kingdom is so different from any other community we’ve encountered. It’s safe.  It’s happy.  It’s lighthearted.  It’s safe.  The leader isn’t corrupt.  There is no killing just to kill.
  • Who needs Tony the Tiger when you can have Shiva instead?
  • Anyone else feel like they need a dictionary of Old English words to understand King Ezekiel better?
  • Those pigs that they gave to the Saviors were tainted meat. I like the way that The Kingdom works…very sneaky.
  • There were a lot of callbacks to Eastman this episode. RIP Cheesemaker.
  • Morgan left breadcrumbs, marking his path back to Alexandria. By the end of the episode, he erased those breadcrumbs.  He’s found his home, his people.
  • Pomegranates are a sign of rebirth, and they were shown and mentioned throughout the episode. This wasn’t only the beginning of a rebirth for Carol, but also Morgan, and possibly the hope of a rebirth for Rick and Co.


  1. Liked your article.

    Just wanted to comment on a few points:

    One. I disagree that this episode was a “slowdown we so desperately needed.” At least not at this particular point in Season 7. Yes, Episode 1 was brutal and emotionally draining. However, it was so much so, that THIS episode, SO VERY FAR to the OTHER end, seemed and felt awkward and quite honestly even a tad boring for me. I may only be speaking for myself, but after the first episode where we LOST two prominent characters, I feel we, more than anything, needed, for example, to see how the rest of the surviving clan were doing. How they were coping. I mean, we’re just left hanging after that horrendous ordeal, and are now expected to shift gears from one emotion to the next. Nah… Didn’t quite work for me. Again, I feel the Season, the Series and the Fans would have been better served if Episode 2 would have continued with where Ep 1 left off, but back at Alexandria now. It would have softened the brutality of the first Ep to see how the gang continued to comfort and help each other, even in the wake of another Negan visit in the offing… I mean, let’s FACE it, we’ve needed to lick our woulnds after that ep. So we could have licked our wounds along WITH them!

    In addition to that, again, quite honestly, especially the “pet tiger” left me wondering: Has The Walking Dead writers run out of things to write about and situations to put our gang in?? And, yes, I GET IT insofar as that Carol’s comment of “I don’t know what the hell’s going on in the most wonderful way” was the writers (most likely) “cute” attempt to include Fans’ surprise in the episode itself. And I would even AGREE with Carol and the Writers, but EXCLUDING the “…in the most wonderful way”. Carol’s “Suzy Homemaker” act has always brought a smile to my face but, again, maybe because it was so soon after two gruesome deaths, her act and the episode itself just seemed so out of whack and out of place. Maybe if Episode 1 had been gruesome (as many are, let’s face it) but had NOT marked the end to two characters, I’d be feeling differently, but, being that Ep 1 was what it was, this IS the way I feel.

    Another reason I’m not a fan of the Shiva introduction is that (though I absolutely LOVE tigers!), I am not a fan of computer-generated animals. I am not suggesting that The Walking Dead should have brought on a REAL tiger. I’m just stating that while we’re dealing with ZOMBIES, yes, and we all KNOW they are not real, they sure as hell LOOK real enough on this show…so bringing in a tiger who does NOT (computer-generated animals always look and move in a slightly jerky way), to me, brings an UNREALITY to the show that it did not need.

    Finally, on a positive note, I do agree that Episode 2 brings a glimmer of hope to the Season. I feel this would have been true even without the tiger. For one, the fact that Negan is in contact with BOTH “The Kingdom” AND “Alexandria,” we somehow get the feeling and indication that at some point the two groups will meet up and Carol and Morgan will be reunited with Rick and the gang, as well as have now greater numbers to defeat Negan once and for all. And we all know THAT will be a BLOODY battle, indeed.

    Lastly, thank you for the little tidbit about Pomegranates! I knew they were of SOME significance in this ep, being that it was mentioned more than once, but I had no idea it symbolized REBIRTH! Thank you for that!


  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Dalia!

    I would have to agree that allowing the fans to grieve alongside the characters would have been a brilliant idea. Having such a heart wrenching episode and then totally switching gears to a completely different group and leaving us all hanging is a little disjointed…it completely switched stories. I do think, however, that having a more lighthearted episode in the wake of such a dark and grim episode was necessary. I think that throwing one thing on top of another (because lets face, even when the characters are grieving, Negan will most likely be knocking on their door and throwing another obstacle in their path) makes the show too dark. We all need that spark of hope to keep us watching.

    And about Shiva. It is a kind of bizarre and wacky concept to throw into the mix. Out of all things to throw at us, a TIGER. A large, meat-eating, beast. But, and I am not sure if you are a fan of the comics or have any knowledge of the comics, but Shiva is a character. I feel that Shiva is also very important to adding to Ezekiel’s character and personality…it makes him seem all the more eccentric and bizarre.

    The pomegranates. I blame my knowledge of pomegranates on my love for the fruit and the abundance of weird facts that I somehow know. I definitely think that it was a nice little touch, and seeing that they were mentioned and shown multiple times throughout the episode, It think that it’s hard not to make the connection that rebirth was a major theme. Hopefully it is a good rebirth that the characters experience, especially Carol.

    1. Thanks for the response, Allison!

      I suppose you are right that we needed an emotional rest after Ep 1, but perhaps they could have found a less disjointed way of doing it. Maybe some MID-POINT between what we got in Ep 2 and what I suggested about grieving along-side Rick’s group…? Anyway, we got what we got, ha ha, and all I know is I’m looking forward to what happens next…

      Also, my feelings about the computer-generated tiger aside, I do agree with your point that the tiger adds to the “eccentricity” of Ezekial. And, no, I have never read or even seen the comic books but I have seen many references to it on these comment sites. Til then, I had no idea TWD comics even existed! Now knowing that, though, I still don’t think I’d ever read them, more than anything because I prefer to be totally surprised from one ep to another…(:o)

      Anyway, til then time. Always a pleasure reading your articles…

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