The Walking Dead has had no shortage of shocking deaths over the past eight seasons, to say the least, but it may have just committed its most controversial character exit ever. As everyone knows by now, the midseason finale that aired in December revealed that Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) had been bitten by a walker, meaning that Rick’s son is sure to meet his end when the show resumes later this month.
While it’ll no doubt be extremely difficult for fans to say goodbye to the character, we imagine it must be even tougher for Riggs himself to exit the show, as he’s been a part of it since the beginning. In fact, given how close the cast of The Walking Dead is, it’s probably tough for any of the actors/actresses to depart, and despite what you may think, they’re often not even told in person when their time is up.
Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekiel, recently revealed that if your character is set to die, you’ll usually find out with a phone call from the show’s head producer, who’s referred to on set as “the Grim Reaper.” Speaking to The Age at Walker Stalker Con Melbourne, the actor said:
“If you get the phone call during the season, ‘We have to talk’, you know you’re not long for this world.”
Even if it’s not necessarily their turn to meet their maker, the cast still find it difficult when someone’s killed off. That’s especially true with the upcoming death of Carl, which hit Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, pretty hard. In a recent interview, he explained the following:
This was the hardest… Losing Steven was… the thought of the journey without Steven in the cast was unbearable but this is… I didn’t see it coming. I had no idea. Scott called me up and said, ‘You’re gonna hate this one. I want to just forewarn you.’ Even then, I was waiting to say, ‘This is a really cool way of telling me that I’m off the show, you know that?’ That’s what I thought he was about to say. He said, ‘It’s the kid.’ I couldn’t even say, ‘No.’ I was silent for a minute. He said, twice, ‘Are you still there?’ I just didn’t see it coming.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 25th. On the other side of the barb-wired fence, Fear The Walking Dead is mounting a major crossover with its undead forebear, and it all revolves around Morgan Jones (Lennie James). Look for that one to premiere later this year.