Former The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs says the late Carl Grimes would be “really, really proud” of the legacy he left behind for Siddiq (Avi Nash), who became the latest victim of the Whisperers in Sunday’s 10x07, “Open Your Eyes.” In Season 8, it was Carl who vouched for lone survivor Siddiq despite the misgivings of father Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who was then embroiled in war against the Saviors. Carl ultimately inducted Siddiq into Alexandria after suffering an incurable walker bite when helping Siddiq honor his mother, who believed putting down walkers freed their souls. In the eight years since Carl’s death, Siddiq mentored medic apprentice Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and had a child with Rosita (Christian Serratos) while serving as the community’s chief doctor and right-hand to Carl’s mother Michonne (Danai Gurira).
“Totally, totally,” Riggs said on Talking Dead when asked if Carl would be proud of Siddiq. “Carl, when he found Siddiq, he just saw another person in need. So the fact that he brought him back, he happened to be a doctor, and he happened to save all these lives and teach Enid how to be a doctor, thus saving Aaron’s life… I think he’d be really, really proud of the legacy he kind of left behind for Siddiq.”
Despite Siddiq’s feelings of revenge and his struggles with PTSD, caused by witnessing the murders of Enid and others at the hands of Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers, did Siddiq succeed in honoring Carl?
“I think so, and I hope so,” Nash said on Talking Dead. “Siddiq, in Season 9, we saw how committed he was to upholding his promise to Carl, to honor those that have passed, the Grimes family legacy, and he really fought to get those communities back together.”
“I think, if anything, there’s been a little wrench thrown in the works with all the PTSD. I think he’s really been torn with whether he wants to continue this message of mercy, or if he wants to lean into the wrath of it,” Nash continued. “I think revenge is on his mind because he’s in a waking nightmare all the time.”
Siddiq may have betrayed his Hippocratic Oath in his less-than-careful treatment of the Whisperer prisoner (James Parks) captured by Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), but “I think Siddiq very much fought to uphold his promise to Carl, and I think he did that,” Nash added. “And now he’s dead.”
Nash, who first joined the zombie drama in Season 8 opener “Mercy,” appeared opposite Riggs in 8x06, “The King, the Widow, and Rick.” There Carl received the walker bite that would cost him his life in 8x09, “Honor.”
“I think the first thing I learned working with Chandler, was that no one was safe in this world,” Nash said. “Our first episode together, we’re in the woods killing some walkers and falling on this deer. I remember Greg [Nicotero] was directing, and he was like, ‘You’ve got to fall a certain way so there’s a little bit of blood on this particular part of your shirt.’ And Chandler’s like, ‘Who cares? Why is that necessary?’ And then kind of a couple days into the shoot, we’re like, ‘He’s bit? Oh! The main kid is gonna die now?’ I had just come onto the show and I was like, ‘Oh, oh my. It is The Walking Dead.’”
Similar to how Carl served as Siddiq’s connection to the community he became to call home, it was Riggs who brought Nash into TWD Family.
“In [Riggs’] final episode, [Carl] said something like, ‘Welcome. You’re stuck with us now.’ And I remember that being, besides really good acting, really truthful,” Nash said. “I was like, ‘Well, I am here now.’ And the torch is sort of passed, and now that I’m leaving, I can pass that on to the next set of actors that will sit on this couch and one day also die [laughs].”