The first episode of The Walking Dead following Carl's death came with an homage to the late and unforgettable Shane Walsh.
Jon Bernthal's live-action take on Shane Walsh far exceeded the lifespan of his comic book counterpart. In the first issue of The Walking Dead comic, Carl Grimes shot Shane in the neck in an effort to protect his father. Shane would quickly be buried and his grave was seen in April of 2004's issue #7. As confirmed by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead, the cross made of tree branches above Carl's grave in Episode 8x10 was an homage to Shane's grave in The Walking Dead issue #7.
"Yes, that was actually in the script, just paying a little homage to the grave marker that I think appears in issue #7 in the comic series," Kirkman said. "Everybody on the writing staff, they're fans of the comic. We know there are fans who love the comic and love the show and love looking for those little things and any time we can do that, we try to."
While The Walking Dead seems to be following its comic book source material in moments like these, the sheer fact that Carl Grimes is dead is a major deviation from Kirkman's original work. He does, however, admit that it can make the show more exciting going forward. "It's something that I've gotten used to," Kirkman said. "It happens from time to time on the show. If anything, it makes more excited. I think that any time that path is not set, any time that you can't look at a comic book series and go, 'Oh, I know exactly what's gonna happen,' it makes things more exciting."
"It just makes things a better show," Kirkman concluded.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.