The Walking Dead just threw its viewers for another loop in their latest mid-season finale by killing off a main character that everyone assumed was safe for years to come. Carl Grimes has been on the show since the very beginning and many expected him to assume the role of leader from his dad Rick eventually. That may still happen in the comics, but on the show we just learned that Carl is dying from a walker bite.
It was a surprising moment, one that caught most viewers by surprise. And it turns out it also caught actor Chandler Riggs by surprise as well, when he was told by The Walking Dead producers in June that he wasn’t going to make it.
“I was really shocked too,” he said in an interview with FanFest. “I don’t think me or my family or anyone on the cast or crew or anyone in the audience anywhere thought this was gonna happen, and this is how it was going to go down. Like you said, Carl has played such a big role, and it’s a huge deviation from the comic. So it’s definitely quite the shocker.”
While Chandler’s parents don’t sound like they were very impressed with the show’s decision to kill his character off, Riggs seems to be taking it all in stride and is excited to branch out into other areas of the entertainment world like music and movies.
“I’m really really excited to do other things, to do other roles and explore other areas that I’ve never gotten to do before,” he said. “Comedy. I’ve had a chance to be on this comedy show possibly, and I’m so excited! I’ve never done comedy before. It’s so weird being an actor my whole life, and not having done these other things. I’m super, super excited to explore.”
If there’s any regret Chandler Riggs has regarding Carl’s death, it’s that his character doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory.
“I was always hoping for a big battle, some epic death, sacrificing himself for someone or something,” Riggs admitted. “In this situation, he kind of is sacrificing himself for Saddiq and for Alexandria. It kind of works in a way. It’s not as epic as I had envisioned, but there’s still explosions and gunfire, so I’ll take it.”
Reminder: Carl isn’t dead quite yet, and will be back for the mid-season premiere on February 25th, 2018. That will probably be full of emotional moments and philosophizing about mercy vs. wrath, but we suppose there’s always a chance Negan will show up with more explosives to give Riggs the massive send off Carl deserves.