In just a few short days, AMC's The Walking Dead returns with its Season 8 mid-season premiere, which has long been confirmed as the episode where Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) will die. To honor this beloved character, one of the few who has managed to survive since the first season, AMC has released a brief trailer which explores Carl's Journey, with brief snippets of footage from seasons past that show how Carl exemplifies the traits of a "hero," "fighter" and a "friend." While there is no new footage from Sunday's mid-season premiere, it helps put this character's life in perspective.
The video starts with footage from all the way back in Season 2, where young and defiant Carl Grimes tells Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) that they're going to stay at Herschel Greene's (Scott Wilson) until they find Carol Peletier's (Melissa McBride) missing daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz). There is also footage of Carl bonding with Michonne (Danai Gurira), with Carl telling his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that she may be one of them, along with a scene from Season 5 where Enid (Katelyn Nacon) tells Carl that she's afraid of him.
The video continues with footage from the church in Alexandria, where Carl tries to tell his father that not all people are bad, along with the iconic scene where Carl and Rick lead the Alexandrians past a horde of zombies, while wearing clothes covered in zombie entrails, and another where Carl insists that Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) finally learns how to fight. The final scenes of the trailer show Carl telling his old man that the group is still strong enough to help people, and that if he really cares, he should do something. Whether or not these themes will play out in Carl's final episode this coming Sunday remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see how these characters pay a fond farewell to Carl.
Robert Kirkman did hint earlier this month that Carl may not die, but given the events of the mid-season finale, and this trailer, where it literally ends with a shot of Carl and a title card that reads "Carl's Journey Ends," it seems safe to say that Sunday night will be the last time we see Carl. The reveal in the mid-season finale that Carl was bit by a walker in the torso, was quite the shock to most fans, especially since Carl Grimes is still alive in the Robert Kirkman comics. While the show has famously veered from the comics' course in the past, killing off a major character like Carl was still quite surprising.
There has also been talk that the next major death will be Lauren Cohen's Maggie Rhee, since the actress was reportedly one of the most in-demand actresses during pilot season, and she recently signed on to star in the ABC pilot Whiskey Cavalier. Scott M. Gimple, who will transition to chief content officer for The Walking Dead franchise after this season, admitted in a recent interview that Lauren Cohan hasn't finalized a deal for Season 9, but he remains hopeful, even though her contract expires at the end of Season 8. While we wait for more on this hit series, take a look at this new video, courtesy of AMC YouTube, as we wait for the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead.