Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't seen last night's season finale of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead smoke-filled conclusion for Season 7 inspired sadness over losing one of Team Family's finest in Sasha, as well as the injuries suffered by Rick, Michonne and Rosita. But it also inspired celebrations, as our big three communities combined forces and forced Negan's Saviors and Jadis' Scavengers into retreating. One big factor in that victory was Ezekiel's four-legged warrior Shiva, who was finally allowed to go into beast mode. To counter that badassery, star Chandler Riggs took to Twitter to poke fun at how goofy the "real" Shiva is during the show's production.
So many things are perfect about this post, which probably shouldn't come as a surprise, since Chandler Riggs has been upping his social media game, just as Carl Grimes has been getting more responsibly badass on TV. While doing some live-or-close-to-it tweeting for The Walking Dead's Season 7 finale, Riggs amusingly gave Shiva her props for coming in to save Carl in the clutch, but the actor's next move isn't to pay it forward and save someone else's life.
It's to point out how ridiculous the scene looked to the actors on the set, since "Shiva" isn't a real tiger at all (naturally), but rather a mixture of CGI, motion capture and some animatronics. And yes, that does include a dude leaping around in a blue full-body suit, and yes, it was hours after making that initial post that Chandler Riggs, known for humorously bashing the show's baby actors, made the further efforts to snag that image. Worth it.
Admittedly, there are probably rougher work days for people than pretending to be a tiger for a TV show, especially for a scene that involves lots of trampoline-umping and dining on people's throats. Of course, I'm not quite thinking about how miserable it must be inside of that blue suit while filming outdoors during the blistering Georgia summer. That would be insufferable just for scenes where Shiva is laying around by Ezekiel's throne, but to be leaping to and fro is another matter entirely. Had it been me in the part of the tiger, the effects team would have to go back and digitally remove all the sweat puddles building up around my feet. Er, paws.
We're definitely applauding the stuntman's efforts in bringing Shiva to life in full, since that sequence from "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" was one of the most action-packed scenes of the season. And some fans may have also been applauding the fact that Shiva seemed to instinctively know which people were the good guys and which ones were the bad guys. Actor Khary Payton, who plays Ezekiel on the show, had a hilarious response to an inquiry about just such a subject on Twitter.
Khary Payton and Chandler Riggs should start a TV show together. Wait.... Anyway, as great as it was to finally see Shiva break it down and treat Saviors like ham hocks, it's just as damning to know that we won't be seeing her or any other Walking Dead characters again until Season 8 hits AMC later this year. Until then, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to see what shows you can keep your eye (of the tiger) on.