Following The Walking Dead's Mid-Season Eight premiere, AMC released a batch of new photos centered around the heartbreaking episode.
Front and center in the episode was the death of Carl Grimes. After being bitten in Episode 8x06 and revealing the damage in Episode 8x08, Carl would succumb to his walker bite during the night in Episode 8x09. The devastating sendoff saw Chandler Riggs' character spending his final day with his sister Judith and parents Rick and Michonne. Ultimately, the death would take place off-screen, but the impact was felt on audiences emotionally.
At the same time, Carol and Morgan carried out a mission to rescue King Ezekiel from his captivity at the Kingdom. Unfortunately for Gavin and his Savior faction, their mission was successful and one young Kingdom boy was willing to ensure the group's survival at any cost.
All of these moments are showcased in the photos packed into the gallery below.
While Andrew Lincoln tells ComicBook.com Carl's death will change Rick Grimes "irrevocably," witnessing his son's merciful suicide would have only piled on to the devastation.
"I don't think Rick or Michonne could ever truly recover from that," Episode 8x09 director Greg Nicotero told ComicBook.com. "He's already left them with a lot to think about in regards to what his dying wishes are. You know, he really is laying out the possibility what the future can be. He talks about the Governor, and he talks about Woodbury, and the fact that Rick in the past has been able to bring people back. What we realize is that all the flash-forwards that we'd seen to this moment forward, or this moment in the season, were all Carl's visions of the future and what Carl was really hoping. So he needs to leave Rick and Michonne with a sense of hope and a sense that there can be more for them to live for. So I don't think it would have made much sense at all to actually physically see Carl die on screen or to have one of them do it.
"I think it fit perfectly in everything that Chandler [Riggs] was portraying in that moment."
Speaking to ComicBook.com, Riggs expressed a similar sentiment in regards to his character bowing out in similar off-screen fashion to Lori and Andrea. "I personally wouldn't want to watch a kid shoot himself and I think it's kind of a just, a censorship kind of thing just for the viewers to keep them from going through that," Riggs said. "I'm definitely okay with the way that it was shot and it was edited and everything. I'm definitely happy with how it went down."
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.