The death toll is rising on The Walking Dead, and Sunday Nov. 12's episode took away another fan favorite character — and even though she herself was more of the strong and silent type, it hurts. Shiva dies on The Walking Dead and Twitter is beyond upset. After rescuing the surviving soldiers from the Kingdom, she gets ambushed and munched on by a small herd of walkers.
Did you think that Shiva was going to bite the head off of that bespectacled Savior before Jerry sliced into him? It certainly seemed that way at first. Shiva's name and reputation are invoked a few times in the episode before she actually appears. The afore-mentioned Mr. Glasses brings her up while getting in the King's head, and Ezekiel himself tells Carol a story about his early days with the 500 lb feline.
Having a pet tiger is the kind of power move that kind of only works in the apocalypse. When King Ezekiel first appeared on The Walking Dead, the only descriptor for him was "extra." The former zookeeper was leaning into his community theater roots and leading a flock of very committed and dramatic individuals. He gives a lot of speeches and quotes a lot of Shakespeare. King Ezekiel served as comic relief to juxtapose the nightmare that is Negan, but reality had to set in sooner or later.
This episode challenged his regal persona in many ways. The Savior attempting to take Ezekiel to Negan at the Sanctuary really got in his head and forced him to confront the fact that being a King, being a leader, in wartime means putting people in danger. It means that people will die for your cause, and you're responsible for their lives and the lives of the enemy that you take. That's a hard truth to face, especially when your background is in zookeeping and fight choreography.
Ezekiel tells Carol that he felt strength whenever he was on stage, but wasn't sure that he could be that person in real life until Shiva was hurting and needed his help. That big kitty helped show him the kind of person that he could be. It makes her death even more devastating, honestly, now that Ezekiel's confidence is shaken. Hopefully Carol, and especially Jerry, can help him out now. When Ezekiel tells his right hand man that he no longer needs to call him by a faux royal title, Jerry replies, "Dude, I really do." We all need something to believe in, even if it's a hokey post-apocalyptic monarchy.
Jerry, Carol, and Ezekiel make it back to the Kingdom, but the once fearless leader may be forever changed. It's truly unfair that he had to lose his loyal pet on top of all of that. Good cats are hard to find, and Shiva was one of the best. Here's how fans are reacting to Shiva's noble fall. Spoiler alert: not well.
The Talking Dead's "In Memorium" segment always feels like it's too soon.
Come back, little Shiva!
The loss of this beautiful friendship is the actual worst.
Where has Father Gabriel been, by the way? Still stuck in that truck with Negan? The timeline of this battle is wild. It feels like no time has passed at al.
Oh, we definitely didn't deserve the majestic Shiva.
She did get a hero's death, and not every character is so lucky on The Walking Dead.
Look. Look. Look. Where is the lie?
That might be a slight exaggeration.
He gets it.
Honestly, this tweet is evergreen. It could apply to any episode.
Even CGI tigers can feel a little too real.
Fingers crossed that those walkers ate her thoroughly. A zombified tiger would be a cool digital effect, as we learned earlier this year with the undead dragon on Game of Thrones, but the actual worst for our heroes. Farewell Shiva. You will clearly be missed.