SPOILER ALERT! The Walking Dead Season 8 plot details fester below.
If you’ve been keeping up with The Walking Dead on AMC, then you know Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes isn’t long for this post-apocalyptic nightmare of a world. And judging from what we’ve heard from Riggs himself, he seems to be all right with that, seeing as he’s got a whole acting life ahead of him, as well as a burgeoning EDM career. But Norman Reedus, one of Riggs’ fellow Season 1 vets, seems to be having a hard time letting him go.
In a candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reedus pulled no punches in explaining how he feels about Carl’s inevitable demise after taking a walker chomp to the abdomen in the mid-Season 8 finale.
“I’ve seen Chandler grow up from a little boy. I’ve known that kid so long, and it always hurts when you lose a family member on the show. Chandler is definitely a family member to me. I was not happy about it. I always thought Chandler would be the last man standing, to be honest.”
Well, not to be callous, but that’s apparently not going to be the case, even though the character of Carl is still kicking in The Walking Dead comics. While that may complicate things, comic creator and show EP Robert Kirkman said they’ve known about Carl’s fate for "years," and that doesn’t mean they’re “going to be losing big swaths of the comic book story. It means that there will be some differences to them.”
Of course, the lack of Carl will be a major difference, especially since he’s been with the show since Season 1. With Lennie James’ Morgan crossing over to Fear the Walking Dead, once Carl kicks it, that’ll leave Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, and Reedus as the last Season 1 vets standing. And according to Reedus, that’s a dangerous way to treat your audience, and your cast.
“The people that started this show, to me, are the heart of the show," he tells EW, noting that their loss deals "such a big blow" and threatens to turn The Walking Dead into a wholly different show. "But if you want to hold onto what made the show special, you’ve got to be very careful what you do with those people.”
We’ll see how careful they’re being when The Walking Dead mid-season premiere airs Feb. 25 on AMC. So get your goodbyes ready.