The Walking Dead paid tribute to the fallen Shiva, the pet tiger who once belonged to King Ezekiel (Khary Payton).
The Walking Dead, Shiva Tribute Scene
The scene starts with Carol (Melissa McBride) and Nabila (Nadine Marissa) walking through the fairgrounds. The camera moves to a tiger statue erected in Shiva’s honor. Shiva has long been used as the Kingdom’s coat of arms. It was recently seen on the Kingdom’s banner as a survivor unfurls another representing Alexandria.
In the eighth season, particularly in episode four, we saw the demise of the pet tiger.
In that episode, we see a wounded and hallucinated Ezekiel ordering Carol and his loyal number two Jerry (Cooper Andrews) to leave him behind as a pack of radioactive waste-covered walkers closed in. But Shiva pounced and was killed defending off the walker pack.
(Following are the conversational dialogues obtained from ‘Comicbook.com’)
Payton previously told THR of the episode, “It was one of my favorite experiences. And also one of my most bittersweet journeys to take, as far as just telling a journey. I said goodbye to so many people.”
He also added, “At the same time, I was given this wonderful episode and character to play. It tore my heart out. Some of the guys we lost … because we lost pretty much everybody [from the Kingdom]. That’s the thing about The Walking Dead. You get very close to these people, and then you end up having to say goodbye, and not knowing when you’re going to see them again.”
Among the casualties was knight Alvaro (Carlos Navarro). It was one particular loss that hit Payton very hard.
“Besides Shiva, letting Carlos go was one of the hardest things that I’ve done on this show. It really did feel like all my people got ripped away from me,” Payton said.
Creator Robert Kirkman revealed the special bond shared by Ezekiel and Shiva in his comic books. He also mourned the loss of the tiger on live aftershow Talking Dead.
Kirkman said in the November 2017 episode, which honored Shiva during its “in memoriam” segment, “It’s a huge turning point for Ezekiel, losing Shiva, losing his people, this is a big deal for him,”
He also added, “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.”