Morgan on The Walking Dead has gone from a grieving husband to a “clear” obsessed lunatic to a peace-loving, pole-toting pacifist to a… well, we’re not really sure what he is now after pumping six bullets into that Savior in the season 6 finale.
But while we wonder about Morgan’s emotional journey in season 7, we at least know the first steps in his physical journey, as Morgan and an injured Carol will be making their way to a brand new community called the Kingdom. But what will Morgan make of a place that is run by a wacky dude who refers to himself as a king and has a pet tiger? We spoke to Lennie James to find out.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When we last saw Morgan, he was asking these two soldiers for some help. We know they bring you and Carol back to the Kingdom. What is Morgan’s reaction to that place going to be?
LENNIE JAMES: Well, you know one of the things about Morgan that you need to remember about the fella is that he spent a long time out in the world on his own. So when he arrived at Alexandria, it was beyond his wildest beliefs. It was the idea that this place existed, and that something like this place could exist in this world in the way that it was, was beyond his imagination and it grew up a lot of complicated issues within himself. Could he live amongst a group? Could he care about other people in the way that he’s only had to care and take care of himself?
And I think the Kingdom, although it’s very different to Alexandria — very, very different to Alexandria, a lot bigger than Alexandria, it’s possibly the biggest world we will have come across so far — is equally as alien to Morgan as Alexandria was. Not least because it’s led by — for want of a better phrase, although I’m in no way keen to use it — a very kind of theatrical leader. So Morgan coming into this world, he’s a bit Zen about it. I think he’s kind of whatever you need to survive. And these people have quite obviously survived and if the way that they’ve done it is to have a king, then that’s fine by Morgan.
Well, Ezekiel certainly is pretty theatrical, and he’s got a pet tiger so I could see how someone coming in might find this whole setup a little odd.
I think one of the important things about Ezekiel is the reason why he is what he is. And the reason why he is what he is, is because it’s worked and it’s keeping a large group of people alive and everybody has their rules. And one of the things of The Walking Dead is that the leaders of all the different kinds of worlds that we’ve come across are in some way kind of iconic.
You know, when we arrived at Alexandria, Deanna was a congresswoman and she ran Alexandria in the spirit of the shape that she cut in the world — the world of a congresswoman. The world of an activist. And that was what Alexandria was about and it reflected the image of the person who’s the leader. As for Rick’s group, Rick is a symbolic figure of a town sheriff. I mean he even still carries his six-shooter low slung on his side. It’s a very iconic kind of image of a leader. And the same with Negan, and the same, to a certain extent, with Ezekiel. He is running a Kingdom, and as a Kingdom, he is trying as best as he can to personify the image of a king, albeit a king who has a pet tiger.
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