‘The Walking Dead’ Season 7: Andrew Lincoln Hints At ‘Time Jump’ — Will Ezekiel’s Shiva The Tiger Go To War? [Spoilers]

The Walking Dead Season 6 finale is not even here yet, but already some spoilers are available regarding The Walking Dead Season 7. Back in the fall of 2015, the seventh season was officially renewed by AMC for 16 episodes, but so far the cast has been pretty tight-lipped about any major details. Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln did slip out some details, so if you assume the graphic novels are still a guideline for the TV show, then we can expect to see an all-out war between Rick’s crew, Jesus, Shiva the tiger, Ezekiel, and Negan and The Saviors.

[Warning: This article potentially contains major spoilers.]

At this point, you are probably wondering where a zombie-eating tiger comes into the picture. Daryl Dixon may think Negan’s men will be pushovers, but Rick’s group will quickly realize they are in over their heads, never mind when a certain barbed wire bat starts bashing heads. In the comics, Ezekiel is the leader of a group called The Kingdom. The two survivor communities are already at war before Rick’s group enters the scene, so it’s very likely that Paul Rovia aka Jesus will be introducing Rick to Ezekiel some time before the Walking Dead Season 6 finale, or shortly after the Walking Dead Season 7 premiere.

the walking dead shiva tiger
Shiva The Tiger [Image via The Walking Dead Comics]

In years past, series creator Robert Kirkman made it clear that he wants AMC to put Shiva the tiger into the script.

“There’s a guy who has a tiger for a pet in the comic named Ezekiel who’s really cool,” Kirkman said. “I always say that I never let the show influence what I’m doing in the comic. But I will say, when I was writing those characters in the comic, I was like, ‘Yeah, good luck doing this, show people!’ I think that we’ll be able to do the tiger. We’ll see.”

Besides the fact that the TV show has stayed true to the overall plot of the comics, there is another evidence that points to this all out war being the next major plot point for The Walking Dead Season 7. When Entertainment Weekly questioned actor Andrew Lincoln about why Rick’s crew was staying inside Alexandria, he leaked a critical detail.

“A lot of these concerns and questions get answered relatively quickly in the first two or three episodes of this back eight. There is a time jump, I will say, at some point. And you will see why we stay in Alexandria,” he said.

A time jump, you say? That little tidbit is easy to overlook, but Lincoln may be hinting at one of the biggest time gaps in the comics. In issue 91 of the comics, the character Paul Monroe aka Paul Rovia is introduced for the first time, but by issue 126 the “All Out War” story line is completed. Issue 127 begins two years later, launching the volume “A New Beginning” with the introduction of new characters and the start of The Whisperers plot.

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes [Image via AMC]
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes [Image via AMC]

It’s also possible Lincoln is referring to a small time jump in the TV show, which allows for the rebuilding of Alexandria. Negan only makes his appearance after Alexandria is functioning again as a community. Otherwise, from there on, the pacing of the comics story is fairly quick and does not include any major time gaps, so if there is a major time jump then it would be a new addition by the TV show.

Based upon the progression of the story made so far with The Walking Dead Season 6, it seems safe to presume that The Walking Dead Season 7 will largely focus on the All Out War plot. The question is whether The Walking Dead Season 8 will complete this story line or begin the next chapter in the overall story.

What do you think?

[Image via AMC]