Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”
Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” finally introduced two anticipated characters from the comics onto the show. The series took a break from Rick and the gang after the bloodbath of the season seven premiere to introduce viewers to the Kingdom, another community with survivors from the apocalpyse.
The big surprise to some may have been the reveal of the Kingdom’s leader, a man who goes by King Ezekiel and rules over his realm with a ferocious tiger, Shiva.
Fans loved it.
Carol (Melissa McBride) was immediately sceptical of the too-good-to-be true settlement after a few encounters with various enclosures over the past six seasons.
If you weren’t buying the fairytale either — King Ezekiel quotes were plastered across various walls inside the Kingdom — there’s nothing to worry about. Ezekiel’s the real deal.
Introduced in issue #108 of the comic, Ezekiel is good friends with Jesus/Paul Monroe who entered the show last season. We haven’t seen the two interact in the the series yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jesus visit the Kingdom at some point this season.
As hinted throughout the episode, Ezekiel may become a great asset and ally to Rick and the Alexandrians down the line. Ezekiel’s Kingdom also has a deal going on with the Saviors in which they need to provide them with supplies and/or food.
If you don’t read the comics, you were probably most curious about the tiger, Shiva, who was first teased in the season seven trailer that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con this summer.
Did “The Walking Dead” have a real tiger fill in as inspiration for the Kingdom’s royal cat?
INSIDER asked “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple about bringing the tiger to life on the series and Kirkman confirmed that Shiva is CGI.
“I was asking Scott [Gimple], ‘How do we plan on doing this thing?’ He pointed out that it’s not particularly humane to have like a live tiger on set and it’s also very dangerous for the actors,” Kirkman told us at San Diego Comic-Con.
Though there wasn’t a real tiger used on set, Kirkman poked fun at what it would have been like if one was there.
“When we needed it to really act, we wouldn’t feed it,” joked Kirkman. “But yeah, so I was like, ‘Great! No real tiger. I can still come to set. That sounds awesome because I would not have gone to set if there had been a real tiger anywhere near set. So there’s no real tiger at all. It’s all magic.”
“It’s the dragon from ‘Game of Thrones,’ shrunk, slightly changed in proportions,” showrunner Scott Gimple interjected. “And we add …”
“Tiger lens,” Kirkman suggested.
“Yeah. It’s just a filter,” Gimple played along. “You guys don’t have that on your phones?”
Can’t say that we do unfortunately. But we’d love anything combining “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.”
What did you think of Shiva and Ezekiel’s entrance onto “The Walking Dead”?
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