Chandler Riggs On 'The Walking Dead's Major Comic Deviation

The Walking Dead killing Carl marks the most significant deviation from its comic book source [...]

The Walking Dead killing Carl marks the most significant deviation from its comic book source material to date, one which Chandler Riggs calls "a complete 180."

In Robert Kirkman's books, Carl is a bloodthirsty survivor in the All Out War story; hungry to see Negan killed for his crimes against Alexandria. On the TV series, however, he has expressed a desire to rebuild the world with a sense of morality and structure which doesn't necessarily involve so much killing. Now, he will use his final words to influence Rick to share such a perspective.

"Yeah, it's actually really interesting to see it kind of turned around," Riggs told EW. "It's just a complete 180 and kind of put Rick in this affair of wanting to kill Negan constantly. And it's really cool to see a different side of it and see Carl trying to influence him in the other direction."

"It is gonna be some of Carl's final moments in the next episode," Riggs said of Episode 8x09. "And though you can see that the story is coming to an end, he does have a lot to say because he's been watching Rick over the last however many years, and has been learning from him and seeing every mistake that he's made and every right decision. And he's turned out to be a really well-shaped leader — kind of suited for this world and an icon for the new age. And so Carl's just really going to be trying to teach Rick as much as he can."

Riggs message in his recent comments is consistent with that of his original exit interview with THR. There, he claimed Carl's death was a choice made in an effort to keep Negan alive beyond the TV adaptation's All Out War story. "In the comics, [showrunner] Scott [Gimple] was trying to figure out why there was a hole between Rick slitting Negan's throat at the end of the All Out War arc and then there's the time jump and Negan is alive and in prison and Rick didn't kill Negan," Riggs said. "Scott was trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between Rick not wanting to kill Negan and Rick also really wanting to kill Negan, which he does right now [in the show's story]. Scott's way to get around that was to make Carl this really humanitarian figure and person who could see the good in people and see that people can change and not everyone out there is bad. That's what Carl's talk to Rick was in this episode: there's no way that they can kill every one of the Saviors and not everyone is a bad person and there has to be some way forward than just killing people."

The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.