The Walking Dead season 8 returns next month and the midseason premiere is going to be one of the most important episodes in the history of the series. That's not an exaggeration, as anyone who saw The Walking Dead midseason finale will note. However, star Norman Reedus is voicing his distaste over Carl's fate, which will be addressed in the upcoming episode, and expresses concern for the AMC series moving forward.
Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead season 8 mid-season finale. Chandler Riggs is officially done with The Walking Dead as, shockingly, he was bitten by a walker in the midseason finale. It's already been confirmed that he is indeed going to die and that's a decision that has upset many. Norman Reedus included. Here's what he had to say in a recent interview.
"I was desperately unhappy about that. I've seen Chandler grow up from a little boy. I've known that kid so long, and it always hurts when you lose a family member on the show. Chandler is definitely a family member to me. I was not happy about it. I always thought Chandler would be the last man standing, to be honest."
Chandler Riggs and his parents also expressed some distaste, at least initially, over his character being killed off on The Walking Dead. His on-screen dad, Andrew Lincoln, also was vocal about not liking the decision. Shortly after the midseason finale, Lincoln echoed some of what Norman Reedus says here.
"My first reaction was silence. Scott Gimple called me up and said, 'You're going to hate this one.' He's very good about alerting the cast when there's going to be a [character] death. I tried guessing four times and was nowhere near Chandler Riggs' name. Scott had to say that it was Carl. I just didn't speak for a minute. I always thought Carl was going to be the one who led the show forward; that Rick would hand over his boots and revolver when he walked off into the sunset in season 28."
One very important thing to consider is that there are very few original Walking Dead cast members left, now that Carl is all but done. This is something that concerns Norman Reedus as well. Not just because he feels an attachment to his fellow actors, but because it changes the DNA of the show and may be off-putting to fans.
"The people that started this show, to me, are the heart of the show. When you lose those key members, it's such a big blow to the show, and to the fans, and to us that are there. Who's left? There's only a few of us left out of all those people. If you wanted to turn it into a totally different show, you get rid of those people. But if you want to hold onto what made the show special, you've got to be very careful what you do with those people."
Reedus may have a point, as The Walking dead has seen consistent ratings drops in recent years. Though, the show is still a massive hit, so it's not in danger of being canceled just yet. As Entertainment Weekly notes, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman assures that, even though Carl is still alive in the comics, those storylines will carry forward as the show progresses saying, There are plans in place to make it all work. The loss of Carl doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to be losing big swaths of the comic book story. It means that there will be some differences to them."