When The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its eighth season in 2018, its core character marked for death will deliver some meaningful final moments.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 8x08, How It's Gotta Be, follow.
Chandler Riggs promises Carl's "final moments are coming pretty soon," with the character set to meet his demise in Episode 8x09. On his way to succumbing to the zombie virus, Carl's final moments may prove pivotal for the series, or at least for some characters still surviving on it.
"Episode 8x09 is really Carl trying to teach Rick as much as he can about what he's learned and trying to convince Rick to not kill every single Savior because there's still good people out there," Riggs told THR. "The Alexandrians, the Hilltop and the Kingdom — all those people probably see him as a villain like the Saviors. There's some humanitarian aspects that Carl is going to try and teach Rick in his final moments."
In fact, Carl's death appears to be the catalyzing moment which motivates Rick to keep Negan alive. "[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."
Still, Riggs admits he was all but blindsided by Carl's death on the AMC series and is still trying to figure out what will motivate Rick to continue. "I didn't know how it was going to pan out with Rick trying to move forward past this because his whole reason that he was pushing forward was to protect Carl and to raise him and to have him follow in his footsteps and have Carl be the leader one day," Riggs said. "I don't know how Rick and Michonne are going to handle it. I guess I'll have to watch and find out!"
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.