For those who haven't seen last night's episode of The Walking Dead, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk. Some Guy featured a not-so-subtle reference to an iconic moment from The Walking Dead comics, which could hint that the next big character death may be coming soon. While the show does diverge from the comics quite frequently, this scene in question could only serve as a subtle little Easter Egg for fans, or it could also foreshadow the next big death. This is your last chance to avoid SPOILERS for last night's episode, so read on at your own risk.
Some Guy did feature a pivotal death, but it wasn't of a human character, with King Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) pet tiger Shiva losing her life. Most of last night's episode centered on King Ezekiel, who nearly lost his life several times throughout the episode, which opens by showing that he was one of the few to survive The Saviors ambush, with several of his Kingdom soldiers falling due to Gatling gun fire. Shiva died trying to save King Ezekiel in a field of walkers, but there was another critical scene that, if it follows the story from the comics, could lead to King Ezekiel's own death in the near future.
The scene in question features King Ezekiel with his unnamed captor from The Saviors, who, during their battles, threatens to sever King Ezekiel's head and put it on a pike, which, as readers of the Robert Kirkman comics know, is exactly how King Ezekiel does happen to die. However, his death doesn't come in either of the All Out War comics volumes, or even in the two volumes after that, A New Beginning and Whispers Into Screams, but in issue #144, the final issue of the 24th volume, Life and Death, when it's revealed that Ezekiel was killed by the dangerous new group that hasn't been introduced on the show yet, called The Whisperers, who survive by wearing suits made of human flesh that allow them to walk among the dead. The death in the comics was said to be the most shocking since the death of Glenn Rhee at the hands of Negan in the 100th issue of the comics.
In the episode, Ezekiel is saved from his captor by his faithful steward Jerry (Cooper Andrews), although the mention of Ezekiel's severed head on a pike could very well foreshadow his potentially impending death. Before Glenn was ultimately killed, he had a number of brushes with death, including one early on in Season 6, where he fell into a crowd of walkers after Nicolas (Michael Traynor) committed suicide. While he ultimately survived that harrowing incident, his iconic death from the comics was largely kept intact, although in the Season 7 premiere, we learn that Negan kills Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) first, and Glenn isn't killed until later, as punishment for Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) trying to attack Negan. While the show does diverge from the comics, the biggest, most pivotal moments are often left intact, so this could mean that King Ezekiel's demise may be coming, sooner rather than later. Here's what Khary Payton had to say about his potential demise in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"I am aware of what happens in the comic book. But it's an alternate universe, No. 1. No. 2, it doesn't change the fact that I'm having a ball playing Ezekiel. If and when he reaches his demise, that's just the way this show goes. I don't take anything that is written as anything more than something on the page, until they tell me that my head is dissected, or I'm killed in a different way from the comics. Or I might just hang around as long as Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa McBride), you know? You never know. Either way, I always say this: as long as they miss me when I'm gone, I did my job."
What's also interesting is that, after the two All Out War volumes in the comics, King Ezekiel isn't featured at all in the A New Beginning or Whispers Into Screams comics volumes, before showing up again at the beginning of the volume in issue 139, where Ezekiel leads a group from The Kingdom to meet with Rick on the coast, to discuss building a road to the coast that all can access. Ezekiel is last seen alive during a community fair that brings all the communities together, where Ezekiel decides to go off and find Michonne, and in the final issue of that volume, Rick finds a fence that features the decapitated heads of many of Rick's friends, including not only King Ezekiel, but also Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos). Since Ezekiel doesn't show up in the next two comics volumes after All Out War, it's possible they could be expediting Ezekiel's death a bit. You can head on over to The Hollywood Reporter for more on King Ezekiel's fate.