The Walking Dead returns in epic fashion this weekend and fans are already preparing for the worst. With Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) expected to die in the opening episode, Walking Dead producer Scott Gimple issued a dire warning that his death will have a nuclear effect on everyone moving forward.
In an interview with Variety, Gimple opened up about Carl’s impending doom after a walker bit him in the stomach in the mid-season finale. Apart from a zombie-sized miracle, Carl is fully expected to die when The Walking Dead returns to finish off Season 8.
Per Gimple, Carl’s demise is going to have a significant impact on Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group.
“It’s nuclear in how it affects the characters, how it affects the story, how it affects their world moving forward. The death of this character, this young hero…it creates the last sort of conversation of who these people are going to be and how they’re going to move into the future. It might be very tragic. It might be very hopeful. It might be somewhere in between.”
Gimple added that not all the characters would react to Carl’s death the same way. Perhaps more importantly, Gimple revealed that Carl’s final words would not be heard because of how everyone reacts to his death.
This could have an interesting impact on Rick, who will undoubtedly take Carl’s passing the hardest.
Character deaths are nothing new on The Walking Dead. We’ve seen plenty of shocking deaths over the past seven seasons, though Carl’s passing is significant because he’s one of the few characters who has been with the series since the very start.
Gimple addressed the difficulty of Carl’s death and admitted that the decision was one of the most difficult ones he’s made on the show.
Fortunately, Carl’s death will not be meaningless. In fact, it sounds like his passing is going to be a massive driving force as the series moves forward. That won’t make saying goodbye to Carl any easier, but at least fans can rest assured knowing that this isn’t necessarily the conclusion of his story.
Although it will be sad saying goodbye to Carl, Riggs recently talked about the one thing he won’t miss about starring on the show. The young actor revealed that he wouldn’t miss saying goodbye to co-stars and attending all of those death dinners after actors are written off the show. Riggs also explained how he has loved being on the show and doesn’t regret a moment of it.
Riggs is also excited about all the opportunities that will open now that he isn’t a part of The Walking Dead. The actor hasn’t committed to anything yet, but he is expected to continue his career in Hollywood for the foreseeable future.
The Walking Dead returns with new episodes this Sunday night on AMC.