Karina Ortiz sheds light on 'The Walker King' in The Walking Dead: Dead City (Exclusive)

Key art for The Walking Dead: Dead City (Sent by AMC Networks)
Key art for The Walking Dead: Dead City (Sent by AMC Networks)

The Walking Dead: Dead City just bid farewell to two members of the universe who had become fan-favorites over the course of the season.

As Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Ginny (Mahina Napoleon), Tommaso (Jonathan Higginbotham), and Amaia (Karina Ortiz) ventured into the walker-ridden sewers of New York, only the first two made it out.

Karina Ortiz's journey on The Walking Dead: Dead City may have come to an end but, as a die-hard fan, she cherishes her time on the show. We spoke to the star about the sinister mutant walker that emerged from the bowels of the sewers shortly after her character's passing as well.

AMC confirmed to SK POP that the creature is called 'The Walker King.'


The frightening new creature on The Walking Dead: Dead City is based upon the Rat King phenomenon

When we asked Ortiz if the set was as creepy as it appeared in The Walking Dead: Dead City Episode 5, she replied in the affirmative:

"It was pretty creepy. I mean they did an amazing job with the sets. Like incredible. Like everything was so detailed. And then obviously you have the walkers. It was definitely an experience. And I thought it was dope. It’s part of the world, right? So I was like this feels so dark."

The Dominican American actress continued:

"And I hope when people watch it, it’s reflected in terms of they could barely breathe in there. That was rough. But I think they did a great job."

The Rat King phenomenon happens when a collective of rats entangle, with their tails becoming knotted. This has inspired many horrific pop-culture moments, most notably the Rat King in The Last of Us.

Karina Ortiz spoke about The Walker King in The Walking Dead: Dead City and explained how the rat king concept inspired its inception:

"I was like this is so creative. This is so incredible. It comes from like the whole Rat King thing. When there’s too many of them, they get intertwined with each other. Their tails intertwine and they become this one thing and it’s like grotesque. And so, I thought that was a really creative way to bring this character. Something you’ve never seen before."

But how has such a creature managed to exist in the bowels of the underground, undetected until this point? Ortiz explained:

"They’ve been underground before. They’ve done tunnels before. But it’s New York. So obviously, so many people on this tiny little island end up down there. It makes sense that something would come out looking like this, you know?"

With her journey on The Walking Dead: Dead City coming to an end, we asked Karina Ortiz if she wanted to portray a walker as well. In response, the actor laughed:

"I actually did not want to become a zombie to begin with. So I think they honored her in that way by not making her a zombie."

Catch the season finale of The Walking Dead: Dead City on AMC and AMC+. This interview was conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal