The Walking Dead fans aren't quite sure how to feel about the news that the AMC zombie drama is coming to an end after eleven seasons, and that includes former star Chandler Riggs. For the first eight seasons of the show, Riggs basically grew up in the zombie apocalypse by portraying the role of hardened teenager Carl Grimes. The character has since been killed off and Riggs has moved on, but the young actor took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the series that made him famous getting the boot.
"Truly the end of a legendary era in television," Riggs says. "Was the biggest fan of the show while I was on it, and will continue to watch until the very end & am so excited to see how it closes."
What Chandler Riggs is saying is undeniably true, as despite its criticisms, The Walking Dead is by far one of the most popular television shows to ever exist. However, it's just as easy for many longtime fans to argue that Riggs' exit from the series was what really marked the end of an era when it comes to The Walking Dead. While Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes was the character we first began following in the hit zombie drama, his son Carl was seen by many as the "future" of the show. Killing him off in the middle of season eight was widely criticized by fans, directly leading to many of them tuning out of the series with no looking back.
Of course, even more fan favorites would just leave the show following Carl's demise. Just one season later, Lincoln would also leave the series, making Carl's death seem even more pointless in retrospect. In Lincoln's case, however, his character's life was spared in order to bring him back in a series of planned Walking Dead movies. Danai Gurira has also since parted ways with The Walking Dead as well, which certainly didn't help with the show's falling ratings. There have definitely been some interesting characters introduced in recent seasons, but losing so many great fan favorites in the seasons before probably played a big factor in many fans losing interest.
Still, it was perhaps the opener to season seven that caused the most damage to the enduring legacy of The Walking Dead. After a painful cliffhanger closed season six, the villainous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) infamously murdered Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) in a particularly brutal fashion. For some fans, the violence in this particular scene was over the top, and this was the breaking point for many of them. Others were so disappointed with seeing Yeun leave the series despite his character being one of the fan favorites. In any case, millions of fans stopped watching the show immediately after that episode, and ratings had been on a gradual freefall ever since.
The episode originally intended to close season ten of The Walking Dead is set to air on AMC on Oct. 4. Additionally, six more episodes have been ordered by the network to continue season ten, which will arrive in early 2021. The eleventh and final season will then be split in half with the first 12 episodes airing in 2021, and the final 12 episodes closing the series in 2022. Multiple planned spinoffs, including a new show following Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), are also in the works. This news comes to us from Chandler Riggs on Twitter.