Two months after the shocking events of The Walking Dead mid-season premiere, where it was revealed that Chandler Riggs' beloved character Carl Grimes had been bitten in the torso by a walker, Carl took his last breath on the mid-season premiere, Honor. It had long since been confirmed that Carl will be killed in the Season 8 mid-season premiere, despite Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman suggesting that he might not die. Now that Rick Grimes' son has passed, Chandler Riggs has spoken about his final scene on the show, and much more. If you still haven't watched last night's mid-season premiere, Honor there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
Unlike most characters who get killed off on the show, Carl was afforded the luxury of getting to say goodbye to his friends and familiy before the zombie virus fully inhabited his body. There were a number of emotional goodbyes and speeches from Carl, including his farewells to Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln). In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chandler Riggs revealed that the most emotional goodbye to film was actually his farewell to his baby sister Judith.
"The goodbye scene with Judith, I think, is always going to get me, just because of how depressing some of the stuff I was saying was. I remember when I read the script, I was like, "Gosh, I'm going to have to say all that?" It was definitely not a scene that I was excited for. Like, when he's talking about his mom telling him that he was going to beat this world, and he didn't. All of that stuff, is just so, so sad."
This episode also confirmed that the bizarre "Old Man Rick" flash-forward scenes weren't actually from the "future" at all. While most had speculated that these scenes were part of a big time jump after the All Out War story, which made sense since there was a two-year time jump in the comics, it was revealed in the mid-season premiere that these scenes were actually Carl's vision of the future, which he explained to his father in his final moments. Here's what Chandler Riggs had to say about when he found out that the flash-forwards were actually Carl's vision of the future.
"I found out when Scott was telling me that Carl was getting killed off. I was super juiced because I was in the flash-forwards, I guess to just to kind of throw off viewers. So one of my questions to him, was, 'So how does that fit in?' He told me that it was Carl's vision of what the future could be like, and I think it's definitely possible. So if Rick actually listens to Carl, and really wants to pursue a better life for Judith, that's what's he's going to have to do."
Like many of the show's pivotal episodes, this one was directed by Greg Nicotero, who, according to Chandler Riggs, wanted the young actor to play his death scenes more "somber and calm" than Rick and Michonne, who were "kind of freaking out" in Carl's last moments. While many characters have others deliver the final kill shot, Carl insisted on doing so himself, which Chander Riggs revealed was a show of "mercy," so his father wouldn't have to do it.
"I think it's kind of showing Rick mercy, in a way, because Carl knew that this mistake was his fault, and he could have easily prevented it if he didn't listen to Siddiq and try to pursue killing those walkers. He helped Siddiq honor his mom, and he saved his life. This is kind of Carl showing Rick mercy because he knew it was going to crush him, and this is kind of his way of saying that he's sorry and trying to put him through as little grief as possible."
Chandler Riggs also revealed in his interview with Entertainment Weekly that his favorite episode throughout his eight-season run was the Season 4 mid-season finale, After, the "infamous pudding episode." The 19-year-old actor revealed that episode pushed his boundaries of what he could do as an actor, and that he didn't actually eat that entire can of pudding, stating he ate about a quarter of that can but it was still "a lot of pudding." The Walking Dead continues its Season 8 run with The Lost and the Plunderers on Sunday, March 4 at 9 PM ET on AMC.