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Posted on November 6, 2016

Who is Ezekiel?: Hades and Androcles in The Walking Dead

Dawn Keetley

The second episode of season 7 (“The Well”) has been much and rightly praised for its exceptional storytelling, which served as a welcome relief from the brutality of the season opener (“The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”).

I’ve read some interesting things online about how the storyline developing between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton), with his strange insistence that she take his pomegranate, evokes the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades.

This article by Ryan Folmsbee on Comicsverse is a good example and lays out how Carol’s story tracks that of Persephone.

A crucial part of the story of Persephone, though, is that it is known as “The Rape of Persephone.” Hades sees Persephone, wandering alone, and he forcibly abducts and rapes her. So when Folmsbee refers to the “love” between Hades and Persephone, it doesn’t exactly seem an accurate description of the relationship—and, indeed, in the posts I saw about the myth, the “rape” part was not being talked about. (Folmsbee gets it more right later when he says that “Persephone was not entirely on board with the idea of spending her life with Hades.”) Read more

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