Carl’s Impending Death Will Be Crucial To The Walking Dead Season 8, According To Showrunner


Death has come knocking for young Carl Grimes.

After nine years and eight seasons at the forefront of AMC’s The Walking Dead, season 8’s upcoming premiere will signal the curtain call for Chandler Riggs’ one-eyed survivor, who will seemingly leave behind a “long-lasting legacy” as Rick Grimes and Co. brace for what is arguably the show’s biggest death.

It’s also the biggest deviation from Robert Kirkman’s comics yet, leading to some disgruntled reactions among The Walking Dead community. To his credit, Kirkman has defended Carl’s imminent demise, and thanks to a new interview conducted by Entertainment Weekly, series showrunner Scott M. Gimple has once again stressed the importance of season 8’s cruelest twist.

This Episode, 8×09, sets very important ideas for the rest of the season — very important motivations and it re-contextualizes everything that’s been going on and gives it a perspective that just can’t be denied. It scrambles some things. But Carl’s presence is felt very deeply in the story throughout the story. It’s a critical aspect of the season.

What’s more, the war against Negan rages on, and Gimple believes the remainder of season 8 will largely revolve around how Rick Grimes picks up the pieces of Alexandria. Of course, Carl’s demise will only exacerbate an already tricky situation, as Gimple teased to EW:

Them deciding who they are going to be is certainly part of it and how they might be able to win this thing and also rethink the entire effort to beat Negan rather than find another way. And that’s all pretty heavy emotional, philosophical stuff, but there are also a lot of practical realities going on about how Alexandria has been definitely, you know, screwed up.

In closing, Gimple posed the all-too-troubling question: how do they survive the night? Rick Grimes and Co. have been forced into a corner, and with Carl already on borrowed time, it’s not looking good for our heroes.

We saw what happened in many ways. Now it’s where are they going to go? What are they going to do? Is it a question of beating Negan or just surviving at this point? Is it a last stand? Is it a surrender? Is it an escape? There are those big philosophical questions but then there are practical questions that just kind of surmount everything. Which is: How do they survive the night?

The Walking Dead shuffles back onto our screens on February 25th. Looking further afield, and it appears change is afoot for AMC’s undead flagship, as outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple will hand the keys over to Angela Kang in time for the show’s ninth season.