Fans of The Walking Dead are gearing up for a long-awaited debut with next week’s finale, but may have missed that Sunday’s blood-spattered “East” dropped a significant hint toward Season 7, potentially setting up comic community “The Kingdom,” and its leader Ezekiel.

Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as certain background Walking Dead easter eggs pan out while others definitely do not, but near every viewer had to notice last night’s strange instance of Rick and Morgan happening on a lone survivor in search of his horse, who fought off several walkers before fleeing. Neither of our heroes got close enough for a good look at the man, afterward noting the spear he’d left behind implied at least some dealings with the Hilltop, before the matter was tabled for Morgan to go on in search of Carol.

The Walking Dead East Armored Man

That said, The Hollywood Reporter made note that the man appeared to be wearing some kind of body armor, a curiously specific choice for a character only seen from a distance. Body armor has been utilized in multiple instances throughout The Walking Dead comics, though it’s definitely worth noting that guards of comic community “The Kingdom” are often seen to sport similar armor, also riding horses, viewed as knights of a sort.

The Walking Dead Kingdom Knight
Image Comics

For those unfamiliar with the comics, “The Kingdom” emerges as another community in the Hilltop’s network, operating out of a walled-off high school and lorded over by the dreadlock-sporting “King Ezekiel,” former zookeeper and another colorful character fans have been anxious to see in live-action. Oh, and did we mention his pet tiger, Shiva?

The Walking Dead Ezekiel Shiva
Image Comics

Of course, next week’s 90-minute finale will primarily concern itself with the arrival of Negan and a showdown with the Saviors, but given the mysterious disappearance of Carol, and Morgan’s pledge to find her, it might stand to reason that the search continues into Season 7, allowing a more formal introduction to The Kingdom, and/or Ezekiel. We know Morgan will at least find a horse, but what that means for the mysterious armored man remains to be seen.

Well, might The Walking Dead have pulled a fast one to set up Ezekiel and The Kingdom next season? Will Shiva be present, in all her glory? Check out the sneak peeks below, and stay tuned for more from the Season 6 finale.

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