9. King Ezekiel
How cool do you have to be considered one of The Walking Dead's best characters after only one episode? Arriving in the story right when he was needed most, i.e. immediately after the arrival of Negan and the brutal slaying of two key heroes, the amusingly pompous King Ezekiel restored some lightness to a show that was threatening to become unbearably bleak. Thanks to Khary Payton's theatrical flair, the general congeniality of "The Kingdom," and one seriously awesome pet tiger, this new leader offered a reminder that violence and selfishness aren’t the only way to survive. Sometimes an overly polite nice guy pretending to be medieval royalty can stir up some loyalty too.