‘The Walking Dead’ Star Chops Off Hair, Ends Fans’ Hopes For Character’s Miraculous Recovery

Jesse GrantGetty Images for AMC

After eight years on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Chandler Riggs seems to have finally said goodbye to his character, Carl Grimes.

Over the weekend, the young actor shared a photo of his new look with his Twitter followers. Gone was the actor’s shoulder-length hair; in its place was a new hairstyle that made Riggs look at least 10 years younger. The snap was captioned “New hair who dis?”

The Walking Dead fans have gotten used to Carl Grimes’ unruly mop, which has gotten longer and longer since his mother Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) passed away in the show’s third season. Carl’s decision to keep his hair long has been taken by fans as a reminder of Lori, who used to cut his hair. Last year, The Walking Dead director Greg Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly that the hair also helped conceal the bandage that covered Carl’s missing right eye.

In a separate post, Riggs added, “I feel so exposed. Like a naked mole rat or something.” His mother, Gina-Ann Riggs, chimed in, writing “No more mullet!” in an Instagram post.

[Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 follow.]

The Walking Dead star’s new look came on the heels of last week’s mid-season finale, in which his character, Carl, was bitten by a walker. Near the end of the episode, Carl revealed the bite to his father, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and to Michonne (Danai Gurira). The heartbreaking moment shocked fans not only because it was unexpected, but because Carl Grimes is still alive in the Walking Dead comics on which the AMC series is based.

While the episode didn’t show the character’s death, it did imply that it is imminent. Barring some kind of miraculous recovery from the walker bite, it appears that Rick’s son won’t make it through The Walking Dead Season 8. This is a huge deal for Walking Dead fans, given that Carl and Rick are the only two original series regulars who are still on the show. Chandler Riggs was cast when he was 11-years-old. He is now 18 and about to start college.

No more mullet!! Thank you @willcdoesyourhairmakeup #salonglosswoodstock

A post shared by Gina-Ann Riggs (@ginaannr) on

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Riggs confirmed that Carl is truly bowing out.

“Yes, Carl is going to die.”

“There’s no way he can get back from that,” the Walking Dead actor added. “His story is definitely coming to an end.”

This still hasn’t stopped Carl fans from coming up with numerous theories on their favorite character’s survival.

But now that Chandler Riggs has cut off his character’s zombie apocalypse hair, it seems there can’t be any doubt about Carl’s impending death.

The Walking Dead Season 8 returns Sunday, Feb. 25, on AMC.