The second episode of The Walking Dead's seventh season introduced fans to the Kingdom for the first time. We all met Ezekiel, his pet tiger Shiva, and his interesting tactic of appeasing the Saviors.
Like Alexandria and the Hilltop, the Kingdom is forced to surrender a certain amount of supplies to Negan's pesky band of savages. However, their sly leader is taking a subtle jab and the most hated man on television.
In handing over a portion of his food to Negan's group, Ezekiel has to meet a certain amount with each offering. The amount seems to be measured by the weight of the pigs he supplies to the group. So, what does Ezekiel do? He rounds the pigs up and has them feed on zombie guts to plump themselves up before becoming Savior bacon.
Sadly, this tactic is not a method of poisoning Negan and his Saviors. As pointed out in issue #117 of the comics when Ezekiel's tiger Shiva eats a walker, animals are not affected by the zombie virus. As cool as it would have been to see Ezekiel take down the group by forcing them to eat their own demise in the form of trojan-pigs, it is not what's happening.
Speaking to ComicBook.com following his debut on The Walking Dead, Ezekiel actor Khary Payton explained exactly why the king is feeding zombies to the pigs before handing them over to the Saviors.
"Hey, man, if the Mafia dude comes over and makes you a deal, and he's like, 'I want a bunch of pigs and they better be a nice size,' and you've got limited options, you go fill a bunch with zombie guts," Payton said. "There seems to be no end in sight as far as the supply of zombie guts. I got to feed my people, too, so I'm going to feed them the good stuff!"
Furthermore, eating zombies may not effect humans, either. Going back to Bob's famous "Tainted meat!" line in Season 5, the Hunters from Terminus were enjoying a meal of Bob's leg after he had been infected with the zombie virus. The meat was cooked which may have been what killed the virus and kept the people of Terminus from turning.
As for whether or not we will see Shiva spring into action the way we did in Robert Kirkman's comics, "You're going to have to tune in on Sunday nights to find out, man," Payton said. "It's going to keep you in the prison of Sunday night availability."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.