Former Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs suspects the show won’t end like the comic book, but he does expect a loose adaptation of the book’s last scene. In its final issue released in July, The Walking Dead jumps 20-plus years into the future after the assassination of Rick Grimes, revealing a world mostly free from the dangers of walkers. Carl has married childhood best friend Sophia and their child, Andrea, is named in honor of Carl’s mother figure. The Walking Dead then ends with Carl reading his father’s story to Andrea, who happily urges him to “read it again.”
“I think so. I think if anything it’ll have to be Judith sitting in that chair, reading to her son or daughter,” Riggs told Skybound’s Talk Dead to Me podcast when asked if Carl’s half-sister Judith (Cailey Fleming) might one day replace him in this scene. “But I don’t think the show is gonna end like that.”
Riggs instead expects it to be shadowy organization CRM, which has ties to all three Walking Dead shows, to mark the endgame for the live-action iteration of the franchise.
“I think they’ve strayed so far away from the source material, the comics, and with this whole CRM thing that’s going on with all the different shows, I think it’s leading up to be a completely different ending from anything else that we’ve seen,” Riggs said. “So I’m really excited to see where Scott [Gimple, TWD chief content officer] leads all of these [storylines], the entire franchise. It’s gonna be really interesting.”
To the surprise of many, creator Robert Kirkman ended The Walking Dead comic without warning over the summer. The oversized 72-page issue ended with a letter from Kirkman confirming the book would not continue.
“I was honestly so surprised. I remember reading the comic, and I was like, ‘Oh man, this is gonna be so cool. I can’t wait to see the new frontier and hear all about these crazy things that have happened.’ It did kind of set it up pretty nicely for more things to happen, but then it said ‘the end,’ and I was like, ‘Wait, wait, what? No!’ I was really, really shocked, which I guess was the point of it,” Riggs said. “Yeah, it was weird reading Robert’s message at the end. I was in denial for a while, like ‘No way, it can’t be over. It’s been going on for so many years, there’s no way.’”
It marked the second time Riggs had to bid farewell to The Walking Dead. In a major departure from the books, Riggs’ Carl was controversially killed off midway through the series’ eighth season in 2018.
“The comics have been a pretty big part of my life, too,” he said. “When I auditioned for the show, that’s when I started reading the comics. So I’ve been reading the comics for almost ten years, so to see them come to a close was pretty heartbreaking. But I’m happy with how it ended, for sure. It was a very satisfying ending.”