‘The Walking Dead’ Producer: “Nobody Is Truly Safe”

After an overwhelming loss that claimed the lives of ten victims, The Walking Dead reminded [...]

After an overwhelming loss that claimed the lives of ten victims, The Walking Dead reminded viewers no one is truly safe — not even Kingdom "prince" Henry (Matt Lintz), son of Carol (Melissa McBride) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), who appeared to serve as a replacement for the killed-off Carl (Chandler Riggs).

"It's a huge decision for [showrunner Angela Kang] and the writers, for any staff on the show," executive producer Denise Huth told Digital Spy. "Henry was tough. It was a hard one. Obviously for Carol and Ezekiel, that's going to be a huge thing for them to have to deal and grapple with."

"There was a lot of speculation and talking among ourselves of, 'Who's going to fill the void that Carl left?' and Henry was part of that," she said. "But I also think Judith (Cailey Fleming) is a huge part of that as well. And there's no set path on how we're going to interpret the comic books."

Indeed, Kang has embraced the prominent beats of creator Robert Kirkman's comic books even as the show strays further from its source material, positioning characters like Ezekiel and Rosita (Christian Serratos) for near-unpredictable stories in Season Ten now that they've outlived their comic book counterparts.

Kirkman "has laid this great foundation but the show — partly because of creative, partly because of practical decisions of when people come and go — has changed so dramatically," Huth said.

Henry received Carl's comic book girlfriend, former Whisperer Lydia (Cassady McClincy), but unlike the books, the relationship ended in tragedy when Lydia's mother, Alpha (Samantha Morton), targeted Henry for his actions that disrupted the Whisperers' way of life.

"It's a huge shock and a huge loss, and it changes everything," Huth said. "It changes Carol for sure and Ezekiel. Nobody is truly safe. And even when you think you can keep your child safe in this world, there is no guarantee of that.

"Carol has seen so many kids die, going back to her own daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) in Season Two [but] Carol in Season Two is not the same Carol in Season Nine. I think the reaction and how she deals with [Henry's death] will be very interesting to see."

In turn, Henry's death belongs to "part of what drives the decision" behind propelling Carol into another story ahead of Season Ten.

"So much of it is, 'What story will this create?'" Huth said. "It's not just for the sake of, 'Oh, this is a big shocking moment from the comics.' It's, 'Who goes and what will that generate story-wise for the characters who are left behind?'"

Audiences will learn how Carol and Ezekiel deal with Henry's death when The Walking Dead premieres its season finale Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.


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