Does Shiva Die In 'The Walking Dead' Comics? King Ezekiel's Tiger Could Be In Danger
The Walking Dead has featured a few animals throughout its run, primarily the kind of animals you might expect to find wandering around post-apocalyptic Georgia: there's small game and the occasional horse. However, the Kingdom is replete with furry friends, plenty of horses acting as modes of transportation, and most notably, King Ezekiel's tiger, Shiva. But after seeing more than one horse fall prey to a horde of zombies, fans are understandably already uneasy about the possible fate of the newest, most badass member of the cast. So does Shiva die in The Walking Dead comics? I am very sorry to report that she does.
When the other local communities finally rise up against Negan and the Saviors, Shiva is a great help in battle. She is hugely intimidating, and she could also do some real damage with those claws of hers. However, while retreating after one skirmish, Ezekiel and Shiva are surrounded by walkers – if you remember the horses, you already know where this is going. When it looks like they are both going to be goners, Shiva takes it upon herself to solve the problem. She dives into the walkers, providing enough of a distraction for Ezekiel to escape, but ends her own life in the process.
Shiva's sacrifice shows the depth of the bond between her and Ezekiel. Their relationship began when he saved her life at risk to his own safety, so it's fitting that things ended with her returning the favor. Despite being a tragic moment, it provides a sense of narrative symmetry by having things come full circle. It also has a profound impact on Ezekiel, who is left without the creature he loved so deeply and the only tether he had left to his life before the virus took over.
While there's no guarantee that Shiva's fate will be the same on the show as it was in the comics, there is a safe bet that she will still die even if the circumstances of that death are somewhat different. Shiva's death would be another big moment, the kind of hugely dramatic and upsetting event that the series tends to deal in. Just for practicality's sake, too, one can't expect Shiva to stick around forever. She's achieved using a mix of animatronics and CGI, which likely takes a nice chunk out of the show's budget. It probably wouldn't be cost-effective to keep her around longterm. There are all those zombie hordes to pay for, after all.
Shiva's relationship with Ezekiel is one that hasn't really been explored on The Walking Dead before. It's not just that the show tends to be a pet-free zone, but that so many of the characters are scrabbling to survive that there simply isn't time for such a simple, profound connection between man and beast. There is both humor and warmth in Ezekiel and his BFF pet tiger, so if and when Shiva goes, it will be a real shame.