Robert Kirkman, comic book genius and founding father of The Walking Dead, has weighed in on Carl’s impending death. And yes, he firmly believes AMC and showrunner Scott Gimple made the right decision by deviating from his source material.
As part of Entertainment Weekly’s ongoing coverage, Kirkman gave a frank assessment of “How It’s Gotta Be,” in which it was revealed that Chandler Riggs’ young survivor had suffered a fatal walker bite. That’s right, Carl’s days are numbered, and with talk that he’ll bow out of The Walking Dead late next month – February 25th, to be specific – Robert Kirkman assured fans that they’ll soon have the chance to make peace with what is arguably the show’s biggest death yet.
I think [showrunner] Scott [Gimple] first brought it up to me as a possibility probably about a year ago at this point,” Kirkman told EW. “At first, I was kind of like, ‘Well, that’s a big one, you know?’ I might have had a little bit of trepidation. But once he laid out to me exactly what his long-term plans were, and the things that come out of it, and the things that it leads to, it was something I got on board with.
And you needn’t worry about Carl getting short shrift on February 25th. Elsewhere in the interview, Kirkman noted that Chandler Riggs is about to deliver one of the best performances of his career thus far.
It’s a great tribute to Carl the character, and Chandler the actor. It’s definitely Chandler’s best work. His work in this episode is absolutely amazing. It’s something he should really be proud of. I think it’s something people will be talking about for a good long while. We’re just really excited to share with the audience.
Kirkman concluded by empathizing with The Walking Dead fanbase, as it’s natural to grow attached to characters across such a long period of time. But death is a part of life, as the comic book scribe so aptly puts:
I know that some fans online have been very upset, but that’s by design. We’re not supposed to be happy when these characters die. We are supposed to be worried about what comes next, and anticipating what comes next, and stressing about what comes next. That just shows that you’re engaged and you’re interested. Our job is to now pay that off and fulfill that interest, and prove that this was a decision worth making. That’s what we’ve got to do.
Batten down the hatches, folks; The Walking Dead season 8 returns from its winter hiatus on February 25th, and chances are next month’s premiere will be a super-sized episode. Stay tuned for more on that one.