Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead.
The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead was one of the bloodiest episodes of the series to date thanks to new bad guy Negan and his handy dandy baseball bat. Unfortunately for Carl, Rick wasn't entirely broken by Negan's brutality even after the deaths of Abraham and Glenn. So, naturally, Negan decided to make Rick chop off his son's left hand. Carl's arm was spared at the last moment, and Walking Dead comic scribe Robert Kirkman had this to say about whether or not Carl will get to keep it in the long run:
There were a lot of variations that were discussed, and we're not ruling it out for the future.
Robert Kirkman teased that Carl may still lose his hand in response to a question from Chris Hardwick on The Talking Dead, so it sounds like the poor kid might want to start practicing life in the zombie apocalypse with only one hand just in case. He's learned to live with only one eye easily enough, and it's not like Negan was entirely unreasonable when he decided that Rick should chop off Carl's hand. He was only going to take the left, and he'd already established that Carl wasn't a southpaw. Who says Negan doesn't have a soft side?
In all seriousness, Carl losing a hand wouldn't be the wildest thing that The Walking Dead has ever done. The show has kept a lot of the big moments from Robert Kirkman's comics, including the death of Glenn that was almost identical to what was printed. Rick lost a hand in the comics back when the Governor was still around, but Andrew Lincoln has already revealed that the special effects team ruled it out for the show. The Walking Dead could pull off a chopped limb with supporting characters like Merle and Hershel. The star of the show, not so much. Carl would make sense as a person to stand in for Rick and find himself suddenly without that particular appendage.
As interesting as it could be to see somebody survive the loss of a hand in the zombie apocalypse, it may be for the best that nobody got the chop in the Season 7 premiere. The graphic death of Abraham was awful, and the surprise murder of Glenn was even worse. Any viewers who weren't already upset by the episode might have been pushed over the edge by the teenage boy having his hand lopped off by his own father. If Carl is going to find himself short five fingers, the show can wait until we've recovered from Abraham and Glenn.
Of course, Carl isn't the only person who would make sense as a person to stand in for Comic Rick and lose a hand. Negan already promised Rick that he'd be sending bits and pieces of Daryl back to Alexandria if the survivors there didn't behave, and Daryl doesn't even exist in the comics. I'm sure there are plenty of Glenn fans out there who wouldn't mind if Daryl suffered a little extra after he got Glenn killed in the Season 7 premiere.
Tune in to The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC to see what's next for Carl in the zombie apocalypse.