The Walking Dead seems to be making it clear that Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) is kicking the bucket when the show’s Season 8 resumes this month. However, Walking Dead comics creator and series producer Robert Kirkman recently teased that the fan-favorite character may not die after all.
Last year, fans of the hit AMC series received quite the shock when the Walking Dead Season 8 mid-season finale showed Carl getting bitten by a walker. In a heartbreaking moment near the end of the episode, he revealed the bite to his father, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), whose coalition was in the midst of a hellish fight against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors.
While Carl was still alive by the end of the mid-season finale, that episode did heavily imply that he will meet his end in the upcoming mid-season premiere. Promos for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 9 have also hinted at Carl’s death, as have some of the Walking Dead stars in recent interviews. After the Walking Dead mid-season finale aired, Riggs revealed that he had chopped off his Carl Grimes mullet, further cementing the possibility that he is walking away from the role.
The scenario completely blindsided many, given that Carl is still alive in the comic book series on which the AMC show is based. It also saddened fans, especially because Chandler Riggs is just one of two original series regulars left in The Walking Dead (the other being Lincoln).
But in a recent Q&A, Kirkman seemed to give Carl fans a small glimmer of hope. According to ComicBook.com, the Walking Dead executive producer appeared with several cast members on a Walker Stalker Cruise Q&A panel. There, he suggested the possibility that Carl, who in Season 8 teasers is suffering from a walker bite, might not die after all.
“He’s not dead yet,” the Walking Dead EP said.
“He might not die. You never know.”
“But I think if, were that to happen, I think it would have some interesting ramifications on Rick, that I think would energize and really kind of set things in motion in a really interesting way leading to the resolution of All Out War in a way that will make for a very exciting back half to Season 8, so I think it’s going to be really cool,” he explained.
As fans know well, The Walking Dead has certainly faked character deaths before. And while this is a tired old ploy by now, fans will just have to wait and see if the show manages to pull it off again.
As for whether or not Carl’s supposed death in the series will affect the Walking Dead comics, Kirkman said he isn’t too concerned.
“I think there’s a lot of great stuff from the comic that will be adapted into the show in Season 9 or beyond.”
“Comic book fans might be excited about the possibility of the Whisperers showing up in the show. I’m not confirming that, but I definitely would not rule it out,” he added.
The Walking Dead Season 8 returns with its highly anticipated midseason premiere on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 10 p.m. ET on AMC. Season 8 will conclude on April 15.