the walking dead season 8 episode 9 scott gimple interview carl

The Walking Dead EP Scott Gimple on Carl's Demise: 'It Was Difficult to Face'

Fans of The Walking Dead aren’t the only ones who have had trouble coming to grips with the imminent demise of original cast member Chandler Riggs’ Carl. Showrunner Scott Gimple tells TVLine that, behind the scenes, it’s been a struggle, too. “We were confident in the story, but it was very difficult to face.”

Unfortunately, the trajectory of the plot going forward in Season 8 (and beyond) killed the possibility of the AMC drama bumping off another survivor instead of Rick’s teenage son. So the EP’s conflict “wasn’t an either/or proposition [between characters],” he says. “It was just hard, like, ‘Are we going to do this, or will there be another way?’

“Looking at where the show is and where we wanted the story to go, Carl is trying to change the world even as he’s leaving it,” he adds, “and that has an incredible amount of impact on everything going forward.”

First, viewers should brace themselves to be mightily affected by the midseason premiere “Honor” (9/8c, Sunday, Feb. 25). Previews Gimple: “It’s very tragic, it’s very honest, and it’s a very, very intimate last few hours for Carl.”

What say you, readers? Think you’ll be able to make it through Carl’s swan song with only one box of tissues?