Lovers of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comics were left sorely bitter when AMC's The Walking Dead decided to kill off Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), as it meant he wouldn't go on to be the hero and bullet-maker at the Hilltop.
It turns out Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on the show, is just as disappointed. especially as his character and Carl won't have a chance to explore the odd relationship on television that they developed in the comics. Morgan took to Instagram to express his regret over the death, but also to pay tribute to Riggs, who has played Carl since the show debuted in 2010.
"Honestly... a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits... was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics," Morgan said after the character officially died via a zombie bite and then a self-inflicted gunshot. "That storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be [disappointed] we only scratched the surface of what could have been."
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SPOILER (for the six people that are somehow in the dark... and get news from Instagram?) @chandlerriggs5 man.... what a pleasure. Not only getting to work with you... but, getting to know you. You, my friend, are an incredible young man. Well before joining this cast I was a fan... a fan that loved watching you grow up in front of a camera. From the moment you first put on the way too large sheriffs hat as a boy... to the end, the hat so befitting of the man Carl had become. Wiser and more compassionate than all of us. You held all of our hearts. Honestly... a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits... was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics... that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted we only scratched the surface of what could have been. BUT... I can take total solace in the fact that you are out there... doing your thing. You’ve grown into an amazing young man as well as a powerful actor... the world is your oyster Riggs. We all get to sit back and watch you kill it. So.. know you are missed on the show... but know you have a big ole group of family all here for you if needed... and eagerly awaiting whatever comes next. Love you Riggs. See you soon.
The arc Morgan is referring to is the "All Out War" storyline which saw Rick Grimes, Ezekiel's Kingdom and the Hilltop finally defeat Negan's Saviors. However, Rick showed Negan mercy and imprisoned him for life, which then allowed the villain to bond with Carl in some sort of attempt at reform. Now, fans are left waiting to see just how Negan reacts onscreen, given that he was fond of the youngster in the show. But as it stands, he'll be just like us all -- wondering what could have been.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC, The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan.