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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's episode, "The King, the Widow and Rick."
In Season 7, The Walking Dead seemed determined to double its core cast by introducing as many new characters as possible in its rapidly expanding world. In contrast, most of the new faces we've seen in Season 8 have already been killed off. Thankfully, we finally got to reconnect with the mysterious character introduced in the premiere in Episode 6, and it was confirmed in-show that it's an iteration of the comic book protagonist Siddiq. Since that first quasi-meeting that Rick interrupted, Carl has been almost entirely trusting of the Quran-quoting survivor, but is he actually a good guy? Let's look to the comics for some background info.
From the get-go, The Walking Dead headed in a completely new direction with the Avi Nash's iteration of Siddiq. In the first place, he showed up in Rick's TV world far earlier than he did in Robert Kirkman's source material, and in a much different context. While TV viewers first got to meet a (seemingly) desperate and hungry Siddiq in the early days of Rick and Negan's All Out War, the comic's Siddiq didn't actually get a formal introduction.
He was already an established member of the Team Family communities whenever the story picked back up after the lengthy time jump that followed the war's crazy ending. He's part of the construction crew responsible for bringing building-based normalcy back into society. Plus, he doesn't have any kind of special relationship with Carl on the page, providing more contrasts between the two iterations. Beyond keeping the story fresh, this could be a way for the show's creative team to make lots of other changes with him in future episodes.
Live-action Siddiq hasn't been fully developed yet, obviously, but his first actual conversation with Carl provided a few details about things he's gone through. For one, he admitted to killing one human, which apparently happened after a walker failed to kill that person. As well, he seems to know that he's killed exactly 237 walkers, "give or take a couple." That's pretty specific, and hints at someone who is very mindful of the acts he commits against other beings, undead and otherwise. Personally, I'd love for "237" to be a reference to The Shining, somewhat subtly warning viewers that Siddiq is hiding things that shouldn't necessarily be seen by others.
Some elements of Siddiq's past are more fleshed out in the comics (and in the Telltale video game The Walking Dead: Michonne, though that's not exactly canon). Comic Siddiq was a Miami resident when the world was taken over by walkers, and he traveled up the East Coast until reaching the fishing community called Oceanside, and he only ever made it to Alexandria after he was previously advised to go there by Michonne, who'd also discovered Oceanside during the comic's time jump. The TV show also made a drastic change when it introduced its version of Oceanside, and I'm quite interested to see if showrunner Scott Gimple will keep Siddiq and Oceanside tied together somehow, as unlikely as that may be.
In his initial monologue from the Season 8 premiere, Siddiq appealed to Carl by using empathy-driven sayings that his mother used to quote from the Quran, which showcased both his Muslim faith and his potentially kind-hearted nature. Coming from a guy who had a microwave thrown at him, that's a pretty good way to live life. He's also pretty good at saving his own ass, as is shown when he and Carl get temporarily overtaken by walkers near that half-eaten horse. As well, Siddiq did not hold Carl to any obligations about helping, and seemed as if he would instantly understand if Carl chose to just leave him out there alone.
Siddiq is never quite so dire in The Walking Dead's comics, at least not at first. He's a pretty genial and generally upstanding person, and is known for being hard-working. Siddiq also isn't afraid to get his hands dirty in a fight, whether it's against walkers or villains, so at least the comic and TV versions have that in common. That said, it's more than possible that he will be more sympathetic to others, as Jesus is with the Hilltop's Savior prisoners. (There's trouble brewing there, so maybe he should stay out of it.) Now, Comic Siddiq does get into a sexual relationship with another character that sparks some thick tension, though his motives were never exactly malicious.
We're obviously still in the early days of Siddiq's time on The Walking Dead, considering he still hasn't shared words with anyone but Carl yet. And I can't imagine that his first conversation with Rick is going to be very pleasant, since Carl went against Rick's wishes by reestablishing communication with Siddiq and inviting him to their communities. But if the comics are anything to go by, that conversation will probably be one in which Siddiq is humbled and eager to do whatever it takes to prove that he's worth being accepted into Alexandria. (Or wherever.) And we all know that Rick is fond of people who keep Carl from getting murdered.
Considering the comics haven't been anything to go by so far, though, I'm almost on board with the show keeping the mystery alive concerning Siddiq and his motivations. Perhaps he could be a former Savior who wants nothing else to do with that group, like Dwight was before he got caught again. Perhaps he's actually a scout for another unseen bunch of survivors that aren't from the comic books. Perhaps Siddiq will be the nicest guy in the world until someone says exactly the wrong thing, revealing his maniacal side. Or maybe he'll just be happy to get food on a daily basis. What do you guys think?
With hopefully a lot more to come from Siddiq in the future, The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC, with just two episodes left in the first half of Season 8. While waiting for the next episode, check out why Jadis' "A" marking is familiarly important to The Walking Dead, as well as which character will be making the big crossover with Fear the Walking Dead. And when you're needing more shows to get obsessive about, head to our fall TV premiere schedule and our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.