Some fans simply can’t wait until The Walking Dead airs tonight to find out if their favorite character is going to make it through the episode or not. And although we haven’t seen the episode yet, we have a very reliable source who has shared Carl’s final outcome. But first, let’s get the spoiler alert out of the way. This post is going to have major spoilers for tonight’s midseason premiere, Season 8 Episode 9, revealing whether or not Carl dies. So only read on if you’re OK with getting spoiled.
Ever since the midseason finale aired in December, fans have been wondering if there’s any way that Carl could be spared. He revealed to Rick at the very end of the episode that he had a bite mark on his stomach. So unlike Herschel, who could chop off his arm to survive, Carl doesn’t really have any good way of stopping the flow of the deadly virus in his body. But still, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating about what might happen.
Well, Chandler Riggs, who stars as Carl on The Walking Dead, revealed his character’s fate on Reddit earlier this month. Riggs often posts on Reddit and was even made honorary mod of The Walking Dead subreddit after the midseason finale premiered. Riggs’ revelation came after someone posted an article from ComicBook.com, where Robert Kirkman said that Carl might not die after all. “He’s not dead yet,” Kirkman said on a Walker Stalker Cruise. “He might not die. You never know…” The post made Riggs upset.
Riggs told the people in the forum: “this irked me, i really don’t like misleading people like this. been saying in interviews and to fans (got clearance to say specifically this on social media back before the episode came out) that the bite is fatal. there is more to this story to be played out, but that story will be resolved in 809. hope that helps clear things up for you guys.”
So there you have it. Outside of actually seeing the episode before it airs, this is the most reliable spoiler you can get about Carl’s fate. And unless Riggs was being misleading in what he wrote, then we now know that this is going to be Carl’s last episode on The Walking Dead. In fact, this isn’t the first time Riggs has been so outspoken about his character’s fate.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Riggs talked about when he got the call about his character. “Yes, Carl is going to die,” he told the publication. “There’s no way he can get back from that. His story is definitely coming to an end.” He said that Scott Gimple wanted to meet him and his parents in person to talk about what was going to happen. He said they needed to make Carl a humanitarian figure who saw the good in people, in order to move Rick’s arc forward. He said the news was devastating to him and his family, because the show had been such a huge part of his life and he had just bought a house in Georgia near where the show films. But now he gets to take some time to focus on acting and music in LA, so it’s not all bad. No, this wasn’t Riggs’ decision to leave. But yes, he IS leaving.
On a sad note, about four months before the midseason finale aired, Riggs made a post on The Walking Dead subreddit about selling his home in Senoia. His post was deleted by the mods because it wasn’t “relevant” to discussions about the show. But looking back, it was very relevant. The timing reveals that he posted this after finding out he wasn’t going to be living in the area anymore.
Carl’s fate was also made pretty clear by the way Chandler Riggs’ father reacted after the midseason finale aired. William Riggs wrote on Facebook: “Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing. I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!”
The moment that Carl revealed his bite was one of the most shocking moments in the history of The Walking Dead. Carl knew he was dying. This was why he wrote the letter for his dad, why he seemed so out of it while he was fleeing the Saviors at Alexandria, and why he offered to sacrifice himself to Negan. Gimple has said that the scenes we’re about to see tonight with Chandler were among the best acting he has ever seen on the show. And that, you can bet, is true.
The episode isn’t quite over yet, and Chandler’s acting has, indeed, been outstanding. They made it very clear that he was bitten by a walker and now he’s very, very sick. He gave his hat to Judith. He’s not going to last much longer. … And he didn’t. At the end of the episode, Carl shot himself in the head so no one else would have to take on that burden. :( Carl is gone.