Ever since it was revealed that Ezekiel (Khary Payton) had thyroid cancer in Episode 5 of The Walking Dead’s tenth season, fans have been terrified the character will die.
In the episode, Ezekiel explained that the cancer was hereditary and ran in his family. He also knew that without treatment, this type of cancer would kill him.
While he appeared to be resigned to this death sentence, many viewers were hoping for a brighter outcome, and this may happen now — albeit thanks to the upcoming antagonistic group called the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth are technologically advanced
The main problem with a cancer diagnosis in The Walking Dead is the lack of technology.
It has been many years since the world has crumbled. The communities are currently struggling to repair Alexandria and find enough food to eat, let alone doctors who can perform surgery to remove Ezekiel’s cancer or hospitals that can supply radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
So, when the news of Ezekiel’s cancer was revealed in The Walking Dead, it certainly did look like a death sentence. However, things have changed now, and Ezekiel is one of the characters taken captive by Commonwealth guards in Season 10.
While this community has not yet been explored in any great detail in AMC’s TV series, fans of the books already know that the Commonwealth has a vast network and is technologically advanced enough to provide the kind of treatment that Ezekiel needs.
As yet, Ezekiel’s cancer prognosis has not yet been revealed to the Commonwealth and, with the fast-growing rate of his cancer, it may already be too late for this much-loved character. However, many fans hope that he will be cured.
Khary Payton initially thought his character would die
Initially, the actor who plays Ezekiel believed his character would be killed off in The Walking Dead.
In an interview he did recently with Insider, Khary Payton revealed that his fate was sealed when he got a call from both of The Walking Dead’s showrunners.
“I remember I was getting a call from both Angela Kang and Scott Gimple, and half the time when you’re getting a phone call from just one of your two showrunners, it’s about the demise of your character in some shape or form,” Payton explained.
However, this was not the case. Instead, Kang and Gimple were phoning Payton to tell him about Season 11 being the last installment of The Walking Dead.
“To know that both of them needed to be on the phone to talk to me about something… I was sure that there was a demise of some kind coming. I just didn’t realize that it would be of the show itself, which was shocking.”
While it is sad news that the TV series is concluding with its eleventh season, it also gives viewers some hope that Ezekiel will recover when The Walking Dead returns later this month.
Season 11 of The Walking Dead will premiere on August 22 at 9/8c on AMC.