WARNING: Aside from talking about the Season 6 finale of 'The Walking Dead' this article also contains COMIC BOOK spoilers! Proceed at your own risk.
While the main focus of the season finale of The Walking Dead might have firmly been on the majority of Rick's group finally meeting Negan (and that bone-crunching mystery death), there was another storyline that is sure to be further explored in Season 7.
After Morgan broke his code and shot the Savior who was about to kill Carol, the pair met two men wearing protective armour. We'd actually briefly spotted one of these men one episode prior, but this was the first time we got to see them up close and could fully establish that they weren't a threat. So if they weren't members of the Saviors, who were they? Well, the hot money is that these two are members of a community called The Kingdom.
The Kingdom is another community which, population wise, is smaller than The Hilltop, but bigger than Alexandria. The people of The Kingdom live in a former high school and are led by a guy who likes to be referred to as King Ezekiel.
Oh, and he also owns a pet tiger named Shiva. I shit you not.
Obviously for comic book fans Shiva's introduction to the TV show is something which is very eagerly anticipated, and a recent interview with producer/director Greg Nicotero indicates that the crew are taking steps to bring Shiva to life for Season 7. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nicotero was asked how exactly the show is planning to include a tiger — will it use a real wild cat, animatronic, CGI or a mixture of all three? Nicotero responded:
"We've started those conversations and I'm very confident in the path that we've chosen in terms of how we're going to execute that but I don't want to get into it too much."
OK, so it's not exactly a definitive answer, but at least we know that there's some sort of path being followed!
Something which definitely does give comic fans hope that Shiva will join the show is the fact that there is a precedent for a live tiger being brought to screen. In 2012 Life Of Pi managed to bring to life the character of Richard Parker, an enormous Bengal tiger. In order to make the tiger in the film as realistic as possible, the animals were studied in a zoo and a huge visual effects team (the same team who also brought Aslan the lion to life in the Narnia films) was assembled to create Richard Parker using CG animation.
While I doubt we'll see Shiva in the premiere episode of Season 7 (the Season 6 finale covered Issue 100 of the comic series, and Shiva debuts in Issue 108) I think it's entirely possible that she'll claw her way into the first half of Season 7. Prepare yourselves for what just might be the most ambitious undertaking The Walking Dead has ever attempted!
Are you looking forward to seeing Shiva on screen?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter