SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses events from ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book series which will influence the upcoming Season 7 of the show.  If you want to avoid SPOILERS turn back now.

The focus of the Season 6 finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ was mostly on the reveal of uber-villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but one tease that many fans glossed over was the introduction of the horseback soldiers from The Kingdom that Carol and Morgan encountered.  Of course, those that haven’t read the source comic books wouldn’t have picked up on just who they were, but for readers this hinted at one of the most amazing introductions in the pages of the book.

the-walking-dead-ezekielFor those unfamiliar, The Kingdom is the fourth of the major survivor settlements, in addition to Alexandria, The Hilltop and The Saviors.  What makes The Kingdom so extraordinary is its colorful leader, Ezekiel, who insists on being referred to as King Ezekiel.  This leader is flamboyant on his own, but it’s his companion that really captures imaginations, Shiva, a TIGER!

Yes, a tiger is coming to ‘The Walking Dead’!  (I won’t go into the details.  I’ll leave that to the show.)

The Spoiling Dead Fans Facebook group reports that not only has Ezekiel been cast, but has already begun filming for Season 7 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

But how will they manage to work in a real tiger?  Well… sadly, it turns out that it doesn’t look like they will.  Reportedly, Shiva will be brought to “life” via a combination of animatronics and CGI.

The show has frequently incorporated animals on the show, going back to the horse Rick rode in Season One and including more horses (poor Buttons!) and a turtle (poor turtle!).  But a tiger is another story, it seems.  Just from an insurance standpoint, that could be problematic.

‘The Walking Dead’ is expected to have some presence at SDCC this year.  Could fans in attendance catch a glimpse of Shiva?

Are you intrigued to see how ‘The Walking Dead’ makes Shiva work?  Or is this a sign that the show is about to jump the shark?