The Kingdom has been invaded and overtaken by a hostile enemy, and I'm not talking about the Saviors. The newest and tiniest community on The Walking Dead, The Weevils, have wreaked havoc on the Kingdom's royal garden, causing a serious melon deficiency. Ezekiel was forced to deal with the death of not only two of the most trusted members of his royal guard, but his precious plants. Let's hope they're well-stocked with tinned vegetables.
But how did the garden go from abundant to obliterated in such a short time? Does its destruction signify something deeper? And more importantly, what does this mean for the cobbler? Let's take a look:
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Yet Another Gardening Fail
New character Nabila was tasked with delivering the sad news of the garden's death by weevils to King Ezekiel— you can tell she's a gardening expert by the fact that she's wearing overalls. But what the hell is a weevil?
Weevils are a common pest that eat plants. The tiny little beetles make quick work of destroying entire gardens, and you'll need to act fast to stop them. In the case of the Kingdom, it was too late— as Nabila said, they had to burn all the infected crops to stop the spread. So is this the Kingdom's fault?
It's no secret that the Kingdom's gardening skills leave a lot to be desired. From toxic planters to an inefficient layout, this community have been setting themselves up for failure since day one.
Even the most well-kept gardens suffer pest problems, but #TheWalkingDead's Kingdom may be entirely to blame. Simple measures such as planting more flowers, building ponds and establishing insect habitats would have attracted natural predators such as frogs, larger beetles and lizards to keep the weevils at bay before they became a problem.
Was It Sabotage?
The weevil infestation may have been a result of the Kingdom's piss poor gardening skills— or maybe it was the work of one person in particular.
Richard had been deliberately trying to cause problems with the Saviors in order to trigger a war. From trying to kill Carol to hiding fruit, his selfish actions had fatal consequences. Could the weevils have been another step in his plan to sabotage the Kingdom's relationship with the Saviors? It would have been a simple matter of weevil-hunting with a torch at night (when they're most active), bringing them back to the Kingdom to introduce them to the garden to do their work.
Then again, the survivors on this show have a hard enough time finding tins of spam during week-long scavenging runs, let alone colonies of tiny beetles— though it would have made for a very original sabotage tactic.
Sadly, it looks like the Kingdom probably brought this on themselves with their lack of gardening know-how. What's worse, after the crops have been removed from the infected plot, Ezekiel and Henry plant new seedlings into the exact same garden beds that contained weevils. There's a good chance the soil still contains weevil eggs, meaning the new plants will also be attacked. Let's hope the Kingdom replaced the soil, or at least set some ducks or chickens loose on that infested plot to get rid of the last of the pests.
The Garden Is A Metaphor
Nabila's not just a source of weevil knowledge; she's brimming with real-life wisdom, too. Despite the tiny hostiles that threatened their community's very livelihood, she still had a message of hope for Ezekiel:
"Here's the beautiful thing, Your Majesty. You can tear it out and cut it down. You can burn it and throw it all away. But if you want, it can all grow back."
Nabila wasn't just imparting some practical tips on crop succession. She wanted to inspire hope in her King, and encourage him to keep on keepin' on. After all, the entire community looks to him for guidance. Perhaps her words will help him realize that the Kingdom can bounce back from anything, and give him the confidence to finally take on the Saviors.
Do you think we'll see that garden metaphor referenced in next week's episode of The Walking Dead?