Later tonight (or tomorrow, depending on where you are when you read this), fans of The Walking Dead will be forced to wave goodbye to young Carl Grimes. Yes, the time has finally come folks, as the midseason premiere, titled “Honor,” will see actor Chandler Riggs head for the exit door and in turn, millions of viewers will surely be shedding a tear – or two.
It’ll be a sad moment, and one that will have an incredible impact on things moving forward. Or at least, that’s according to showrunner Scott M. Gimple. Out doing the press rounds to promote the return of AMC’s hit series, it’s been the same story for weeks now, with the producer promising that Carl will leave a lasting legacy on Rick and co. once he’s gone, and in a recent interview, he re-iterated that again.
Speaking to TVLine, here’s what he had to share:
“We were confident in the story, but it was very difficult to face. It was just hard, like, ‘Are we going to do this, or will there be another way?’ Looking at where the show is and where we wanted the story to go, Carl is trying to change the world even as he’s leaving it and that has an incredible amount of impact on everything going forward.”
Again, this falls in line with everything else Gimple’s been saying lately. In fact, just earlier this week, he called the impact of Carl’s death “nuclear,” telling Variety:
“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. Not all the characters are going to respond the same way, and the tragedy itself makes it very difficult to hear Carl’s words and to act on them in a way that he wants.”
Meanwhile, Riggs himself also took a moment recently to thank the show’s impassioned community for supporting his character – both on screen and off – over the past eight years, saying:
I think it’s actually awesome that people have really watched me grow up and have been able to relate to a character on such a level as they’ve really just fallen in love with Carl and his life. I think it’s amazing to be a part of something that incredible.
I think that’s why it’s such a phenomenon because people can relate to these characters on such a level and they like to put themselves in similar situations and see how they would act and what they would do. I think it’s just such a relatable show that it’s hard for people to not watch.
The Walking Dead season 8 finally returns from its winter hiatus later tonight, so be sure to fortify those heartstrings folks and have the tissues on standby: death has come knocking for young Carl Grimes, and the show will never be the same again.