Why The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus Wasn't Happy About Carl’s Big Shocker

Daryl sitting on a car

Spoilers ahead for the midseason finale of The Walking Dead. If you're not caught up, turn away!

Season 8 of The Walking Dead has been an interesting one. After a season of capsule episodes and world building, All Out War against Negan and The Saviors has begun. The results have been countless gunfights, some major twists and turns, and a handful of character deaths. While most of the casualties of war have come from less important side characters, the midseason finale revealed that Carl's time on the show was almost done. He was bitten trying to recruit Siddiq into Alexandria, and he'll probably only survive one more episode or so. It turns out that actor Norman Reedus was extremely upset by this writing choice, as he'd seen Chandler Riggs grow up from a young age. He recently said,

I was desperately unhappy about that. I've seen Chandler grow up from a little boy. I've known that kid so long, and it always hurts when you lose a family member on the show. Chandler is definitely a family member to me. I was not happy about it. I always thought Chandler would be the last man standing, to be honest.

It looks like Norman Reedus might have previously subscribed to the fan theory regarding Carl's fate in The Walking Dead. Said theory claimed that the show and comic would both end centered on a fully adult Carl, who outlives his father and the rest of the survivors. Alas, the TV show has once again diverted from the comics, and killed off a character that is still alive and kicking in Robert Kirkman's graphic novel.

Norman Reedus' comments to EW seem to echo the feelings of most Walking Dead fans. Carl's bite was a major gut punch for the fandom, who had been following his character's journey since the very first episode. As such, there has been a massive backlash from the community about the twist, despite the character's somewhat mixed history on the series.

Some fans have even started a petition to get showrunner Scott M. Gimple fired over the decision to kill off Carl. And he did leave the position, albeit for a promotion. Scott M. Gimple will now oversee the entire Walking Dead brand, while writer and producer Angela Kang has taken over as showrunner of the apocalyptic drama.

Fans aren't the only one who took umbrage with Chandler Riggs' termination from The Walking Dead. Following the midseason finale, Riggs' father took to social media to bash the series, and how unceremoniously Carl was killed off. Meanwhile, his mother took a softer approach, penning a thank you to the many fans who have supported her son through the past eight seasons of TWD.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC February 15th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop last year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.