The Walking Dead season 6 finale just introduced one legendary comic book character in Negan but season 7 looks set to bring in another big-hitter.
During a new interview with ComicBook.com (via Squareeyed), producer Scott M. Gimple teased that the show may bring in an actual live tiger for the show in season 7, hinting at the presence of The Kingdom and it’s leader Ezekial and his pet tiger Shiva: “Those guys [who find Morgan and Carol in the season 5 finale] may or may not have been from The Kingdom. We may or may not see The Kingdom.
“If we do see The Kingdom, it’ll be a big reveal and it’ll be another new world to inhabit and explore. Can we have a real tiger? That’s a great way to put the questions to me because it sort of corners me into a spoiler. I would say, in a really cheeky way, that we can have a lot of things and people are gonna have to wait and see. If I were just watching the show – I’d want to see that tiger.”
In the comics, The Kingdom is a college campus that has been fortified and turned into a survivor’s colony, much like the Alexandria Safe-Zone where Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew inhabit. The Kingdom is run by a mysterious figure who goes by the name of King Ezekiel, who has trusty pet tiger Shiva by his side at all times.
With Negan now introduced, it seems like a safe bet that the producers would want the wheels to keep on turning by bringing in The Kingdom, but Gimple wasn’t prepared to confirm or deny anything just yet.
Meanwhile, Andrew Lincoln has been speaking about how the season 6 finale left him genuinely heartbroken: “The moment that Rick gets to his knees and acquiesces and almost hands the crown to Negan, it’s done. I was very consciously trying to position Rick in this place where all he’s fought for and killed for these last few years has been smashed all around him in that final scene.”
Having previously revealed that reading the script made him feel “physically sick,” Lincoln elaborated: “…it was the frustration I felt that I play this man who had answers to every available situation up until this point. I felt just powerless and frustrated and thwarted and angry and all of the things when I was reading it. It made me so upset. I think I was feeling all of the things you’re supposed to feel when watching it: It’s over.
“I’m so used to playing someone who had a way out or had an answer and I had to play a man who got to his knees. This felt like a demolishing of all of this work that had happened over six years. [Negan] has got a baseball bat and he’s smashing everything I’ve fought for.”
We would love if The Walking Dead got crazy enough to have a tiger killing zombies weekly. Seriously, who doesn’t?