- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” “Chokepoint.”
- “The Walking Dead” introduced us to the Highwaymen on Sunday’s episode.
- Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekiel on “TWD,” explained the ragtag group his crew encounters to INSIDER and what he thinks their strange symbol means.
- Payton also said how Carol’s push to get the Highwaymen to trust them shows how the Kingdom has worn off on her a bit.
Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” introduced us to another group of survivors, the Highwaymen, and, it turns out, the highway marauders don’t seem as bad as we thought they may be.
They even seem like they may be quite useful to King Ezekiel and the Kingdom at some point along the road.
Who are they and are they a group that can be trusted? INSIDER spoke with the leader of the Kingdom himself, Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekiel on “TWD,” to find out what you need to know about the group and whether or not they can be trusted moving forward on the AMC show.
Who are these Highwaymen? Not the country music group of the same name you may know.
Khary Payton: They’re a ragtag band like every apocalypse gang is a ragtag band. You find people and they’re not living dead who walk around wanting to eat your flesh, so you’re like, “I guess you’ll do.”
They’re the living, the better alternative to the zombies. So, they got together and decided that piracy was the way for them, so they started taking all of their weird mannequins and crap and keeping them in a warehouse. You survive the best way you can, what can I say?
What is that strange symbol of theirs they sent to Ezekiel and Carol?
Kirsten Acuna: We first saw their symbol on the road in the background when you guys were leaving the theatre. What is that symbol supposed to be? Is that supposed to be a bridge?Payton: I don’t know, I didn’t ask these people. That’s a great question. I don’t know if it was a symbol of somebody with two arms and two legs and no head. I’m more concerned about, or at least Ezekiel’s more concerned about, what they want than that symbol. I didn’t know if it was some weird anarchist deal or maybe a road that’s split oddly. It could be a lot of things, but I’m not exactly sure what the deal was with that.Acuna: I just thought that maybe [showrunner] Angela Kang or maybe the script may have said a little bit something more on what that was.Payton: No. It just talked about the symbol, and I think that they wanted to kind of talk about the idea that despite the Whisperers being a threat, that they were not the only community out there, that there’s still more communities out there that we have yet to run across in so many ways.
The importance of the Highwaymen becoming allies and not a threat, largely in part due to Carol.
Acuna: You know what, I was thinking, and I think others may think this while watching too. Originally, I thought the Highwaymen were just going to be another group of bad guys who the Kingdom would have to fight and go to war with.
For a moment, it seemed that way. Ezekiel was ready to fight with them, but then Carol suggested they talk to them and feel them out before making any rash moves. And in the past, I don’t think that’s something that would have necessarily been on the table. Even when Ezekiel invites them to the fair and they laugh, Carol doesn’t give up on humanity and mentions, “When’s the last time you’ve seen a film?” What should we take away from that moment?Payton: I just think that maybe the Kingdom’s rubbing off on Carol a little more than we think. In the past, she has been a reluctant killer, but a killer none the less. And I think that just the idea of, you don’t have to go in guns blazing all the time. Even those Saviors in the road. She was heartbroken that she was going to kill those guys. She tried to tell them, “Please, just leave me alone. We don’t have to do this.” And that’s who Carol is. She doesn’t necessarily want to kill first, and I think that this is another reminder of that. And King Ezekiel, although he’s a killer, he’s also a reluctant killer. When he’s being threatened this time around, he was thinking that there was no way out. But this time Carol says, “Let’s hold back and think about it for a minute.” I just think that they have got a really great relationship of trying to temper each other a little bit so that they make the best decision and not necessarily the rashest.
Is this gang going to help the Kingdom with the threat of the Whisperers if they need them?
Acuna: Do you think these Highwaymen now may come in handy with other threats, like the Whisperers?Payton: Well I think they already have, and I think that the cool thing about the Kingdom is, and like the Hilltop before them, is that these communities work best when they’re bringing people together rather than pushing them away. And I think there are gonna be some more hard lessons about that before it’s all done.
“The Walking Dead” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on AMC. You can follow along with our ongoing show coverage here.
- Read more:
- The 9 ‘Walking Dead’ characters fans would be most upset over if they were killed off the show
- ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Khary Payton says fans ‘should be worried about Ezekiel’
- ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Khary Payton on whether or not he knows Carol killed a bunch of Saviors: ‘I think she kept that to herself’
- ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Khary Payton says the Whisperers are a ‘crazy cult’: ‘I’m not sugar coating that’
- 7 details you may have missed on Sunday’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’
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