In fact, so many theories and ideas have spawned from fans regarding methods or loopholes which would allow Carl to survive, ComicBook.com has elected to compile the seven best theories into one place. Now, regardless of how much (or how little) sense some of these theories might seem to make, the safest possible bet (meaning put the whole house on it) is that Carl will die in Episode 8x09. The Mid-Season premiere will, indeed, by Carl's last.
But, hey, it's fun to hold out hope and speculate with wild or ridiculous theories!
The first (and possibly best) theory's roots date back to The Walking Dead's second season, when Rick and his group were in the woods searching for Sophia in the early days of the apocalypse. After finding a peaceful deer, Carl approached the animal in the woods only to be unintentionally shot in the stomach by Otis from hundreds of yards away. The theory suggests this will help Carl survive his walker bite.
"The location of Carl's bite mark is in the same area where he was shot by Otis," chipnanna wrote on Reddit. "Where Hershel did surgery to remove bullet fragments, back in Season 2 Episode 2, Bloodletting." The first comment on the post fills out the theory, with johnnyFyeah adding, "Maybe the scar tissue will stop the infection from spreading."
Such a move would certainly blow the minds of Walking Dead fans as the show's cast and crew would be pulling off one of the biggest surprises in its history. It even makes a surprising amount of sense and could possibly be justified within The Walking Dead universe. Such a move similar to John Locke being shot and left for dead on LOST, only to survive because the bullet went through the same location where his stolen kidney once was. Unfortunately for the Carl fans, this probably is not going to be the case for Carl as his death is said to arrive in the Mid-Season Eight premiere.prevnext
Fans of The Walking Dead comics know the next big story and war which follows Rick and Negan's feud is the Whisperer War arc. The long-lasting arc introduces a savage group of survivors who wear masks made of zombie skin and walk among them to blend in.
With the group on the horizon for the AMC series should it continue to follow its comic book source material, many suspect Carl was bitten by an overly method acting Whisperer. The group may or may not be introduced in Season Eight (it would be early, by comparison to the comics) and what better way for them to literally make a mark than by faking the world out on biting Carl, right?prevnext
Though The Walking Dead comics and TV series have shown zero evidence of any survivors being immune to the walker virus, some fans are optimistic in thinking Carl will introduce it.
Such a storyline would launch The Walking Dead into The Last of Us territory, as the key character would become a focal point, potentially carrying the blood with information needed for a cure. The Walking Dead's writer and creator Robert Kirkman, however, has promised the walker virus will never be explained or cured for as long as the never-ending zombie drama lasts.
Furthermore, showrunner Scott Gimple has promised the bite will play out just like any other bite on the series.prevnext
In 2012, a fan wrote to Robert Kirkman in the Letter Hacks section of The Walking Dead issue #99. Dan Buffaloe, a Nashville, Tennessee native, accurately predicted the cliffhanger of Carl's bite mark but went wild with his prediction for the aftermath.
In Buffaloe's theory, Carl's getting shot in the eye bars him from being infected.
"Issue 102, a strange thing happens to Carl...NOTHING," Buffaloe writes. "No fever, no infection, no signs of anything abnormal. Our wonderful surgeon (Denise?) will come to the conclusion that the chunk of brain that was shot out of Carl's head must prevent the zombie virus (or whatever it is) from affecting him. This will lead to some great character development of an otherwise boring character; Denise. We can have her turn into somewhat of a mad scientist. Single people start disappearing from The Community one by one. The group assumes they are moving to bigger settlements. We come to find out that Denise is abducting people and cutting out their eyes and brains trying to duplicate Carl's condition. After cutting up their brains she kills them or lets them get bitten to see if they turn.And yet again another great issue ending with Denise found dead on a table with scalpels and s--- hanging out of her eye after performing the surgery on herself. So there's some comic gold for you!"prevnext
The helicopter which flew over Rick Grimes late in the first half of Season Eight remains unexplained. Some fans believe the folks on board will have a cure to offer Carl Grimes.
Here’s to hoping that Helicopter that Rick saw in the woods is some kind of militarily unit. . . one that carries the “The Cure” for Carl. This poor kid has been through a lot. @chandlerriggs @WalkingDead_AMC @TWDFamilyy #TWDMidSeasonFinale #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/oGcEor722h— The Architect (@TheArchitectXII) December 11, 2017
While it's unlikely the helicopter's pilot or other passengers will be revealed to have a cure on board, their identities will hopefully be revealed sooner than later. As for Carl, his fate seems to be sealed regardless.prevnext
Perhaps the least likely theory spawned by fans is the bite it outright fake. With Carl preaching morality to his father, Tamala Johnson believes Carl could be going as far as faking his own death to prevent his father from killing all of his enemies.
I don't believe Carl's bite is from a Walker. Obviously the writers want us to assume it. Why didn't they show Carl get bit? Perhaps the fake bite is part of Carl's plan to convince Rick to allow him to take a risk to kill Negan. #TheWalkingDead #TWD #AMC— Tamala Johnson (@Tamala_Johnson) December 11, 2017
The thing is: Rick won't let Carl turn into a walker. He will remain at his son's side for every last moment, expecting the fever to hit and the infection to take his life. At that moment, he'll be forced to put Carl down. Carl can't fake that!prevnext
Richard B. Dragon might have a theory more farfetched than Tamala Johnson. "Carl isn't necessarily dead," he writes. Why? "We know Rick is immune to the virus. Blood transfusion?"
Carl isn't necessarily dead. We know Rick is immune to the virus. Blood transfusion? #TheWalkingDead— Richard B. Dragon (@SandwichKing420) December 11, 2017
First of all, no. Do we know Rick is immune to the virus? Why would we think that? Furthermore, thinking anyone in Alexandria, the Hilltop, or the Kingdom would be able to pull off a blood transfusion from Rick to Carl is extremely optimistic, even when talking about the kid who survived a gun shot in the head.prev