It's hard to pick a favorite moment from that action-packed Walking Dead Season 7 finale. From Negan calling Jadis and her gang "filthy garbage people" to seeing Carol finally wield a gun again, there was hardly a single dull moment. Hell, even Jadis propositioning Rick in her weird, jolting lingo was priceless.
Of course, Shiva's entrance at the 11th hour was by far a highlight not only of the episode, but quite possibly of the entire season. Suffice to say viewers have been absolutely dying to see that big cat unchained and let loose on those nasty Saviors, finally becoming the badass sidekick from The Walking Dead comics we all know and love.
Just as Carl had accepted his fate as Lucille's next meal and was bracing himself for impact, Shiva stealthily snuck up behind one of Negan's Saviors and pounced, taking Negan by surprise.
While it was one hell of a way to announce the Kingdom's arrival to the battle, filming the scene involved less jungle cat and more skin-tight blue Morphsuit. Be warned: you may never look at Shiva quite the same again.
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Bring Out The Trampoline!
Considering #TheWalkingDead's relatively poor use of CGI in Season 7 (you know what I'm talking about), it was pleasantly surprising to see just how fantastic a job the FX team did on Shiva. It's clear to see where they're focusing the majority of their budget
But behind the wonder of that flashy CGI is two very basic but essential props: Morphsuits and trampolines. Chandler Riggs was live-tweeting during the Season 7 finale, and shared a candid behind-the-scenes shot:
Walking Dead fans, meet the real Shiva. The stuntman in the suit is used to help the actors in the scene react naturally to an actual creature beside to them, as opposed to simply imagining a giant tiger. The trampolines were used to create that perfect pounce.
So while viewers at home got to see this final result...
...this is what was actually happening during production:
The Blue Suit Was A Little Distracting
The sight of a man in a skin-tight blue suit bouncing across mini trampolines is super weird to look at on screen, but just imagine having to work around that. Andrew Lincoln, who was in that very scene, said he found the juxtaposition of the Morphsuit and his serious dialogue a little overwhelming:
"He had such a spring on him. One of the weirdest experiences. I’m there baring my soul in Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s face, and then this guy gets in my eye-line and he’s 6 foot 3 and blue! And it was absolutely bizarre. What is happening?!"
Then again, it's entirely possible that Lincoln's just a tad jealous that he wasn't chosen to play Shiva:
What did you think of that epic Shiva scene?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)