WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead COMIC series ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Part way through Season 6 of The Walking Dead, Paul "Jesus" Rovia promised Rick and the gang that their world was about to get a whole lot bigger, and it did with the introduction of The Hilltop community. However if the rumors are true, then it's about to get expand once again when meet King Ezekiel, the leader of The Kingdom.
We've written about Ezekiel and The Kingdom in depth before (you can read about it over here), but basically the Kingdom is another community which is lead by a king who also happens to have a pet tiger. The tiger, who is named Shiva, has really got fans of The Walking Dead excited with the rumor that Ezekiel (and therefore Shiva) will be introduced in Season 7. The fans are so excited in fact, that some are claiming that we've already seen evidence of Shiva.
Redditor rustyfork87 recently posted a theory on The Walking Dead subreddit that a print that we saw in the dirt during the finale episode was actually from Shiva:
The theory also claimed that injuries on the body of a walker looked an awful lot injuries sustained in a tiger mauling, including claw scratches:
This is in addition to the fact that Morgan and Carol likely met members of Shiva's home, the Kingdom, after the shootout with the Savior, Roman:
But while the theory might seem vaguely convincing from afar, once you really get into the context for these pieces of evidence, I'm afraid they don't really hold up. Firstly the so-called tiger print mark is actually a horse hoofprint. The reason the print was shown in the episode was so that the audience knew that Roman (the Savior that Carol wounded) was out for revenge, and following Morgan's trail in the hopes of finding Carol at the end of it. You can clearly see that the print was made by a horse because of the U-shape:
And in regards to walkers seemingly mauled by tigers, the injuries could definitely have come from a variety of sources and weapons — we've certainly seen our gang use some weird and wonderful things to take down walkers in the past!
While I do think it's extremely likely that we'll see The Kingdom in Season 7 — which hopefully means meeting Shiva as well — I sadly don't think that rustyfork87's theory that we've already seen evidence of Shiva is anything more than wishful thinking.
But I have to say, while I have my doubts in this theory, it's pretty awesome to see that The Walking Dead has such a passionate and active fan base that theories like this are all over the internet. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with next!
Do you believe we've already seen evidence of Shiva in The Walking Dead or not?