Not even 24 hours have passed since The Walking Dead community was forced to bid adieu to young Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and already, the Internet has run a fine-tooth comb over “Honor” and, more specifically, what it means for the future of AMC’s zombie drama – in season 8 and beyond.
But now, thanks to the folks over at TV Line, The Walking Dead‘s executive producer Scott M. Gimple has leveled on what is undoubtedly the show’s biggest death thus far. Indeed, according to Gimple, the creative team over at AMC made a conscious effort to distance themselves from Robert Kirkman’s source material so that no one – not even those familiar with the comics – could predict Carl’s fate.
We wanted to tell a version of the comic story that kept emotions similar to what you’d get when reading the [source material] but in different ways, so that the comic-book-reading audience didn’t expect what was going to happen. We plan to do that moving forward as well — sometimes pulling moments from the book in sort of verbatim ways and sometimes in ways that are very different, with the goal of heightening the message in some way. Carl’s death fell into that [category]. This in many ways is sort of the ending of an era for The Walking Dead and the starting of a new one.
“Before mom died, she told me I was going to beat this world. I didn’t – but I know you will.” Cue the waterworks. Yes, Carl’s swan song was a somber one, and his death will have far-reaching implications for The Walking Dead season 8 and beyond, beginning with the grief-stricken Rick Grimes and his quest to overthrow Negan.
But as a wise man once said, life goes on – and so too will The Walking Dead, as “The Lost and the Plunderers” has been slated for a premiere on March 4th. You can catch an early peek at Sunday’s episode down below, followed by an extended, heartwrenching clip of Carl’s final moments.