The Walking Dead's Carl spent some of his best and most important days in the apocalypse with his best friend Michonne, which might be why he considers the character to be a mother.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 8x09 follow!
In Carl's farewell episode, the character got emotional in his farewells to the characters surviving him. In particular, he opened up to Michonne in a devastating way, calling her his "best friend" and telling her "I love you" just before preventing himself from reanimating as a walker. Though Carl chose "best friend" over "mom" in his last day, Chandler Riggs tells ComicBook.com his character considers Michonne "a very mother-like figure."
"I think for Carl, Michonne is definitely a very mother-like figure for him," Riggs said. "They've always been really good friends and before Enid came along, she was probably his closest friend and the only person that he really opened up to. The same goes for her. She hadn't told anyone about her kids and what happened with her when everything started. Yeah. I definitely think there's a mother-like bond between Carl and Michonne."
Ultimately, the decision not to call Michonne "mom" may have been a writing decision as Carl referenced his biological mother Lori several times in in the Mid-Season Eight premiere. Naming two people as such might lessen the impact of the term for some viewers.
In the end, Carl had his father and step-mother in mind. In fact, that is why he chose to shoot himself rather than allow them to do the horrible job. "I don't think Rick or Michonne could ever truly recover from that," executive producer and director of Episode 8x09 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 where 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."
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.