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This Is How Khary Payton Wants His Character To Die On The Walking Dead

"The Walking Dead" has had its fair share of memorable deaths over the years. From Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) telling her son to be strong in a cruel world before meeting an untimely demise to Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) ending her own life in a last-ditch effort to kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), many have given their lives for the greater good of humanity. Perhaps the actors are upset they no longer have a job on one of television's most intense shows, but at least they can leave with the knowledge they tugged at the audience's heartstrings.

Dying on "The Walking Dead" can almost be seen as a badge of honor, and now that the series is ending after Season 11, the remaining episodes are bound to be a no-holds-barred bloodbath. No one is safe, and fans should get prepared to say goodbye to anyone. One person who sounds game for anything is actor Khary Payton, who's played Ezekiel since Season 7. The zookeeper-turned-king has had quite the arc, and Payton has some notes on how he would want to see his character go out if he meets a less-than-kind conclusion.

Contains minor spoilers for "The Walking Dead" Season 11, Episode 1

Khary Payton wants Ezekiel to die with his 'head up'

Things don't look too good for Ezekiel in Season 11 so far. The character has had thyroid cancer since Season 10, and in the Season 11 premiere, Ezekiel broke down into an extended coughing fit. It's possible even if he manages to outrun every last zombie, the disease could take him down. Either one would be a decidedly different demise than the one he received in the comics. When asked in an interview with Insider if he was okay with Ezekiel dying, Payton made it clear he didn't care either way if he made it to the finale or not. But he wanted to make sure one thing happened if the writers decided to end his character's life.

He said, "I told [Angela Kang and Scott Gimple] whatever you do, when you write him, don't have him die with his head hung, you know, have him die with his head up and looking out for some kind of light." Ezekiel has played a vital role on the show for the last few seasons, so he's definitely earned the right to be more than zombie fodder. But the request holds significance for Payton, as he stated, "I've suffered with depression in my life. Fortunately, I'm able to recognize it now in my life. I can almost visualize the clouds rolling into my world and covering the sky. I love that analogy because clouds don't stay in one place. If you can just remind yourself of that, you can weather any storm — that even above the clouds, there is blue sky, you just can't see."

There are still over 20 episodes left in Season 11 of "The Walking Dead." That means Ezekiel has ample opportunities to meet his end, and should it happen, we're confident it will be a noble death.