The good news for Carol when The Walking Dead picks up for season 7 on Oct. 23? She’s alive! The bad news? It looks like she’ll be separated from the group for at least a little while as she and Morgan will be venturing to a brand new community known as the Kingdom.

Run by a dude with a scepter and pet tiger who calls himself King Ezekiel, the Kingdom will play a big part in Alexandria’s impending conflict with Negan. What will Carol make of the place and the seemingly wacky guy who presides over it? We spoke to Melissa McBride to get some teases on what to expect.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why don’t we start off with what sort of state Carol’s in, because obviously at the end of season 6 she’s a mess, both emotionally and physically, just sitting there on the ground and really wanting to be put out of her misery. So what is her physical and emotional state here in season 7?

MELISSA McBRIDE: Well, at the end of season 6, we see these armored horsemen. Carol’s obviously been wounded. She and Morgan both were helped out by members of what we’ll come to know as the Kingdom, which many of your comic book readers will already know what that is.

We’ve seen her at what might be her lowest point. So I guess the question is: Where does she go from here emotionally?

Where this all started, it was such a culmination of events, and just a string of taking people’s lives. She’s having difficulty coming to terms with those actions in her mind and the “what ifs” — what we should have done, what we could of done. Would it make a difference? And I think it’s just very hard for her to be on the fence and unable to decide one way or another. It’s best for her just to go if she doesn’t feel like she’s emotionally or mentally equipped to make a decision to take another life to protect a loved one, and she just can’t be around them.

And now she’s been rescued by these people from the Kingdom, so she is now in another community, and what’s her perspective going to be now? Is she right back where she started? And that’s to be determined, so I think that’s where we left off and that’s where we’re going into. How will she accept the Kingdom? How will the Kingdom accept her? Is she going to stick around? Is she going to leave? Is she capable of leaving? You know, what kind of condition is she in? All of these questions will be answered eventually.

What does Carol make of Ezekiel? This guy is very theatrical, he calls himself a king, he’s got this big pet tiger. What is Carol going to make of this whole scene, because that sounds a little bizarre?

Well, I imagine it’s very bizarre, and particularly with a character like Carol who doesn’t stand for a whole lot of bulls—, there’s just no time. So it’ll be interesting to see how she thinks of Ezekiel and his Kingdom. You know, she’s been here before. It’s too good to be true. It’s very beautiful. I can tell you that. It’s a bit unreal.

And here she is separated from the main group again in that sense too. That’s something that she’s used to as well.

Yeah, and then her mindset too, she’s also very vulnerable. I mean, she’s grappling with her feelings, but she’s very self-aware. That’s something that I really like about Carol is that she knows what’s up with her and she’s in a vulnerable position with herself, and so here she is in another community and these people are helping her. Is she going to feel obligated? Is she going to feel an obligation? Is she going to form relationships with the people at the Kingdom and then be stuck in that same problem? I can’t love these people because I just don’t have it in me to kill for them. She’s got to have some respite to figure it out.

For more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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