In the episode of The Walking Dead, which is called “Swear,” Tara and Heath separated and Tara is found washed up on the beach by a new character named, Cyndie.

Covered in sand and water, Tara is dragged out of harm’s way to a shady area on the beach. Cyndie doesn’t allow her partner to kill Tara, but instead returns later with food and water for her newly discovered guest.

When Cyndie is checking on Tara, however, she discovers a mysterious tattoo on Tara’s arm that has a series of Roman numerals listed. The numbers, presented as “XXVI, XIII, XXII, and IX” translate to 26, 13, 22, and 9 respectively. There is also a fifth line that is covered by her sleeve.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

What Do The Tattoos Mean?

These tattoos could mean a number of things. They could be a tally of walkers killed, but perhaps now she’s lost count. Since 26 is the highest number, they could be a translation of letters, which would be Z, M, V, and I, but there’s no obvious significance of what those letters might spell out.

Since these are old script, they could reference Bible verses but it’s difficult to say without seeing the final line. If that were the case, they could point to Proverbs considering how the show loves Bible verses (even those made up by King Ezekiel in the Kingdom).

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

The New International Version

Proverbs 26:13 (NIV) says, “A sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!”

Proverbs 22:9 (NIV) says, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”

This is simply a theory, but the ancient passages do connect to the episode and Tara’s way of life. The “lion in the road” could refer to life’s difficulties, which now includes Negan. The second verse, if applied to this episode, could signify a future relationship of food sharing between Oceanside and Alexandria.

But they could just represent Tara’s views on life before the outbreak. Trouble will often come your way but it’s important to remain on the side of good.

This somewhat signifies the conversation on the bridge between herself and Cyndie. Hopefully we’ll discover the significance of the tattoo later this season. 

What do you think the tattoos mean? Do you think they connect to the Bible verses I mentioned?