The Walking Dead Creator Empathizes With Fans After The “Upsetting” Death Of Carl Grimes


It’s going on three weeks since The Walking Dead returned for season 8B and still, there’s a gaping, Carl Grimes-sized hole in AMC’s zombie drama.

Not that we can say we didn’t see it coming; remember, Carl’s fatal wound was initially teased late last year, long before The Walking Dead went offline for its annual winter hiatus. Even still, many viewers are still mourning the loss of Chandler Riggs’ hardened survivor, who had been a fixture of the series ever since its debut back in 2010.

And while he has consistently defended AMC’s decision to bump off one of their major characters, series creator Robert Kirkman recently spoke to fans as part of a Tumblr Q&A (h/t, and it was here where he admitted that Carl’s death was “a big one.”

This was a big one. It’s a very hot-button issue on the internet as well because there’s a very vocal group of fans blowing up my Twitter at all hours of the day very upset over the loss. It was very tough for me as well. I think there’s a disconnect in that this is something I was dealing with a year ago… so I may seem flippant in interviews now when it’s brought up, because I’ve made my peace with it.

For Kirkman, Carl’s untimely death was one of the show’s most upsetting moments in recent memory. Nevertheless, he fully supports Scott M. Gimple’s decision to kill Rick’s only son.

That’s not to say I didn’t support it. Because I did. But Carl is one of my favorites and Chandler Riggs was an essential part of the show from day one… so it’s still upsetting. It’s not unlike Andrea’s death in the comics, which upset me very much, and yet I was 100% responsible for it. But I knew it was necessary for the story and would lead to interesting developments to keep things moving along… same with Carl in the show. It’s upsetting… but knowing what’s coming out of it makes the loss a little easier.

And that’s just it. Even before Carl kicked the bucket, The Walking Dead‘s creative players consistently stressed that his death was necessary in order for season 8 to progress. That’s a story development that will continue this weekend, too, given “The Key” has been slated for a premiere on March 15th. And it seems Negan’s back will be against the wall.