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‘The Walking Dead’: Chandler Riggs Addresses Carl Being “Replaced” with Henry

Former Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs doesn’t take issue with Carl Grimes’ comic book storylines playing out with Henry (Matt Lintz), including a budding romance with former Whisperer Lydia (Cassady McClincy).

“I know Matt personally, I’ve known him because his older sister played Sophia. I’m pretty sure his whole family was on the show at some point,” Riggs told TooFab, referring to Matt’s siblings Madison and Macsen Lintz, who played Sophia and young Henry, respectively. “I’ve known all of them for a very long time. It’s super cool seeing someone I know step into the shoes that Carl, the path that Carl was supposed to take, it’s pretty cool.”

Riggs previously admitted he was “looking forward to a lot of storylines, specifically with Lydia,” saying aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2019 Carl’s comic book plot was “just such a unique storyline for Carl and it meant so much to the storyline.”

“But it’s all good, I’m on ABC,” he said with a smile, pointing out his guest role on the network’s new hit drama A Million Little Things.

When it became clear Henry — who does not exist in the comic books — would inherit the one-eyed teen’s comic book role following Carl’s Season Eight death, showrunner Angela Kang was careful to point out Henry is not a replacement, but is instead an instrument through which to play out certain storylines that would otherwise go abandoned.

“There’s nobody that’s going to exactly replace Carl,” Kang told EW.

“Carl is his own character, but there are definitely plotlines from the comic that we didn’t want to completely lose. Henry just organically would be with this time jump about the age of Carl in the comics. There were certain aspects that we felt play well with Henry, especially because Carol is now that parent.”

As the sheltered “prince” of the Kingdom, son of Carol (Melissa McBride) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), “Henry is a different kind of kid in the show than Carl was in the comic at this point.”

“He’s had a different upbringing. He’s had a bit of a sheltered life. He’s also faced different kinds of things,” Kang said. “We just wanted to make sure that anything that we take from the comic that maybe once was part of Carl’s storyline, it’s a little different when you have Henry playing it. We don’t intend for it to be exactly the same.”

The other half of Carl’s comic book story — in which he forms a unique dynamic with a jailed Negan — is similarly unfolding with sister Judith (Cailey Fleming), another page-to-screen translation Riggs says he enjoys. Henry, meanwhile, has emerged as a widely hated character after a Talking Dead poll showed 73 percent of voters opposed the Henry-Lydia romance.

The Walking Dead next airs its penultimate episode of Season Nine Sunday, March 24 at 9/8c on AMC.

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