"The Walking Dead" Season 8 killed off "the real MVP."

*Spoilers ahead from TWD Season 8, Episode 4, which aired Sunday, Nov. 12*

TWD regularly kills off people -- and killed a lot of mostly unknown Kingdom residents in "Some Guy." But it's the death of a CGI tiger that had fans screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO across Twitter.

Shiva, the loyal tiger companion of former zookeeper "King" Ezekiel of the Kingdom, was killed saving her papa and his friends, Carol and Jerry. Shiva was always clutch, like in the Season 7 finale last spring. But TWD is based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman, and Shiva did die in that comic book during this All Out War storyline. That said, plenty of other changes have been made over the years -- including Carol and Judith still being alive when they both died back in the prison storyline of the comic. There was hope that TWD wouldn't kill off the tiger. But there was also the CGI budget, among other practical considerations.

Fans were not happy to see Shiva go, comparing her death to losing Glenn last year. (Sorry, Eric. How quickly we move on.)

Yes, it's like losing a "Game of Thrones" dragon or direwolf all over again.

Actor Khary Payton told Entertainment Weekly what it meant for Ezekiel to lose Shiva:

"[T]o me Shiva is kind of the embodiment of what the Kingdom is to Ezekiel. She is this rare, beautiful creature that somehow is surviving and thriving in this dark and hellish place, and that's what the Kingdom is. It's this bright, beautiful thing that he was able to build despite all of the death that's rotting around him, and I think that moment is kind of the embodiment of seeing Shiva. In my mind, it just replayed everyone dying on that field, but the incredible loss that you feel when you lose so many so abruptly and so harshly. And so that, to me, was the connecting sinew that I was able to find in my brain to have that emotional connection. And another gut-wrenching scene to watch, good gracious."

"The Walking Dead" Season 8 continues Sunday, Nov. 19 with Episode 5, "The Big Scary U," at 9 p.m. on AMC.

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The Walking Dead TV Show Poster
The Walking Dead
AMCTVMAOctober 31, 2010
Based on 11 critics

In the years following a zombie apocalypse, survivors seek refuge in a world overrun by the dead. Read More

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