Imagine Daryl Dixon, surrounded by walkers with no way out, crossbow bolts almost gone. It looks like the end for Daryl, fans across the nation get ready to riot, but Daryl doesn’t seem scared. Instead he allows himself a quick half-smile and whistles.
And a giant tiger bounds into the scene. Together, they begin the brutal task of ripping apart the horde.
That’s probably not something that’s going to appear on the show, but it might if Norman Reedus gets his way.
During an interview with Zap2it at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the show’s stars and producers discussed three The Walking Dead comics characters that will probably eventually make it to the show.
These are: enigmatic survivalist Paul “Jesus” Monroe; “King” Ezekiel, leader of community known as The Kingdom; and Ezekiel’s pet tiger Shiva. Reedus was most interested in Shiva.
“A tiger on set? Dude, that’s the greatest news I’ve ever heard. That’s rad,” Reedus said. Reedus, who doesn’t read the comics and was apparently unaware that there is a tiger in them, suggested the tiger should become Daryl’s pet. He enthusiastically yelled “Tiger!”
Reedus wanted Daryl to have a dog, which was turned down by producers, so it’s unlikely we’ll see the Daryl/tiger team. But the panel did joke about the idea.
“[Reedus] has always wanted an animal,” Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd said. “Is that what you’re going to be begging all season?” she asked him. “‘When do I get the tiger? Can’t you give the tiger to me?'”
The producers also joked about how they would work the tiger into the show. Creator Robert Kirkman said they had to use a real tiger.
“That’s the only way to go,” Kirkman says. “Got to keep it grounded. I mean, if we could get a robot tiger, that would be pretty awesome. But, you know, we might have to go with a real one.”
Addressing the feline character seriously, Showrunner Scott Gimple pointed out that it’s a long way off into the storyline and said “give us some time to figure it out.”
Neither Jesus nor Ezekiel will show up in season five, either, as both are also introduced further into the storyline.