WARNING: Spoilers follow for recent episodes of “The Walking Dead.”
If “The Walking Dead” has been good at one thing during its seven seasons and counting, it’s killing off any character you ever cared about. We’ve seen a bevy of show regulars come and go over the years, most recently during the Season Seven premiere’s gut-wrenching (and gut-soaked) goodbye to favorites, Glenn and Abraham. Aside from longtime fans, no one seems to be taking it harder than the show’s own protagonist, Rick Grimes. Unfortunately, if recent rumors prove true, he better toughen up quickly.
Moviefone laid out its case today for the theory that Rick’s son, Carl, is up for the chopping block in the near future. While the younger Grimes is still alive and (relatively) well in both the comic books and AMC show, sources point out that Chandler Riggs, the actor responsible for portraying him since episode one, recently announced the wrap-up of his seven-year contract on TWD via Facebook.
If that weren’t enough, the seventeen-year-old Riggs also tweeted that he would be attending the University of Auburn this fall, which obviously means it might be a bit difficult to bash zombies’ heads. To top it all off, we last saw Carl heading into the belly of the beast, hitching a ride in the back of a pickup truck bound for Negan and The Saviors’ headquarters. It’s safe to assume that things won’t go according to plan for him once he arrives.
ayy i just got accepted into auburn
— chandler riggs (@chandlerriggs) November 7, 2016
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that audiences give up on everyone’s favorite “future serial killer,” as Negan described him. Moviefone is careful to mention that the end of Riggs’ contract might simply mean it’s time for a renegotiation as he soon will be considered a legal adult. On top of that, Auburn is only about an hour-and-a-half from the main filming locales outside Atlanta, Georgia, so it’s conceivable that Riggs could commute/schedule filming around classes. Still, nothing good can come of an unscheduled run-in with The Saviors, and it’s not like the show has been all that kind to Carl in the past, what with watching his mother die, his friends getting beaten to death with a bat, and losing that eye during a walker attack.
If it’s any consolation, Riggs was seen on set filming through at least the end of this season, so if we’ve gotta say our goodbyes to Carl Grimes, it probably won’t be happening until the finale. Probably.
Airing Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on AMC, “The Walking Dead” stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peleteir, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Green, Danai Gurira as Michonne and more.
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