Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x04.
The war against Negan and the Saviors suffered another tragic loss as King Ezekiel's beloved pet tiger, Shiva, met her end protecting Ezekiel, Jerry and Carol from a pack of possibly radioactive walkers.
On live after show Talking Dead, host Chris Hardwick raised an overlooked opportunity to The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman:
Hardwick: You really missed an opportunity with whatever that industrial waste was for a radioactive zombie tiger, why not?
Kirkman: I mean, who says it’s not happening?
Hardwick: All right, good, I just need a little bit of hope. [laughs]
Though the exact circumstances changed between the comic books and the show, the end result in both iterations was the same: Shiva ultimately died leaping in and saving Ezekiel, the same way Ezekiel once leaped into action to save Shiva. The internet is taking the loss pretty hard, but Kirkman said it was important for the show to stay true to the comics with Shiva's death:
"I mean, it's a huge turning point for Ezekiel, losing Shiva, losing his people, this is a big deal for him," Kirkman said. "But Shiva, you know, somebody that has protected him, that he's protected, they've got a great relationship. It's a big loss. It's a big loss for him, it's a big loss for everyone. I'm upset too, man. I like tigers."
Fans may be questioning if Ezekiel's loyal pet will end up reanimated as a walker, but that's as likely as a radioactive zombified tiger.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.