In last night’s shocking and emotionally-charged season 8 mid-season finale, fans were shocked to learn that fan-favorite Carl Grimes had been bitten back in episode 8.06 when he ventured out to bring back newcomer Siddiq (Avi Nash) to Alexandria. While fans were shocked and saddened, there was some consolation that the move most certainly had to be actor Chander Riggs’ own decision, as there had been rumors for over a year about Riggs attending college and possibly working on other Projects. What’s more, given how popular the character is and the fact that Carl is in line to succeed his father in the comics as Alexandria’s leader, it seemed far-fetched — in fact, just flat out ludicrous — that Scott Gimple or any of the other Executive Producers or writers would even consider killing him off. In fact, for the past couple of weeks as rumors circulated on social media, the vast majority of the fandom responded with “never will happen.” Well, never say never because it did just happen, and from what we can tell, it most definitely was not Riggs’ idea.
Actor Chandler Riggs has already expressed disappointment at being killed off on the series, but someone even more upset at the actor’s departure is his real-life father, who has taken to Facebook to rant at the show’s producers for letting his son go. William Riggs, who runs the popular Walking Dead location tour, Chandler Riggs’ Dad’s Zombie Roadtrip Riggs’ Tours, took to social media to slam both the show’s network, AMC, and The Walking Dead‘s showrunner Scott Gimple for the decision.
Watching Gimple fire my son two weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next three years was disappointing. I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!
Am I mad? You bet. Should the fans be upset? Absolutely. At first glance, what is even more puzzling is this move will likely not help the ratings, which have seen a steep decline since it has returned for its eighth season. This being said, why would Gimple or anyone else on the writing team make a decision like this? Well, ironically, Chandler Riggs himself may have answered that question for us, as it seems there may be plans in the works for wrapping up the series.
For those of you who have been tracking the rumors of Carl’s demise in the mid-season finale on social media, you may recall the popular Facebook group, The Spoiling Dead Fans, made their official prediction back in October. While the mountain of evidence was substantial, they still labelled the potential death as “unconfirmed.” In the past, whenever the group made mention of any “unconfirmed” deaths, right before the specific episode would air, they would make another post to officially confirm the death, citing some unnamed source close to the series. Well, this past week was different. There was no additional post confirming Carl’s death, and they only said there was a very good reason for that and they would let fans know why after the mid-season finale airs.
As it turns out, the reason was Chandler Riggs himself reached out to The Spoiling Dead Fans and respectfully requested that they withhold this particular spoiler. After obtaining permission to publish, here is the full text of Chandler’s heartfelt letter:
The part that should really raise an eyebrow is his saying out of respect “for the last few seasons of the show.” Oh snap!! Did Chandler just confirm that there are plans to wrap up the zombie drama that most fans thought would never end? It sure sounds that way, and it also aligns with what Chandler’s father said about his son originally being offered 3 more seasons before he was abruptly fired.
Bottom line — it seems as if the show’s end-game may be in sight, which would explain what would appear to be the nonsensical decision of killing off a character like Carl Grimes who is so crucial to the overall story. What’s more, if the end of the series is truly in sight, then be prepared for other major deaths, including the one death that the vast majority of the fandom swears will absolutely never happen — that of Daryl Dixon. Maybe it’s time to dust off that riot gear!
What does everyone else think? Are you upset with what the writers did with the Carl Grimes character, and to actor Chandler Riggs in particular? And, what about the potential news of the series ending in the near future?
The Walking Dead returns for the second half of Season 8 on February 25th.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com