What's Up With Carl's Letters From The Walking Dead's Midseason Premiere? Here's What Chandler Riggs Says

the walking dead carl letters
(Image credit: Image courtesy of AMC)

Warning: major spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Season 8 midseason premiere, called "Honor."

The Season 8 midseason premiere of The Walking Dead delivered one of the most heartbreaking and game-changing deaths of the series to date with the passing of Carl, who some once thought would be the last man standing. The show revealed his looming demise via zombie bite in the midseason finale back in December, and "Honor" gave Carl the chance to say goodbye to his friends and family. At first, he didn't know if he'd get the chance to reunite with any of them, and he wrote letters. The episode didn't show exactly what he wrote. Chandler Riggs spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets on a conference call ahead of "Honor," and he had this to say when asked if Enid would end up getting her letter:

I honestly don't know, because I don't get any of the future scripts anymore, so I don't know what's going to happen. Or really what any of the letters say. I just kind of improvised and wrote down a bunch of random stuff on the letters on the day. But yeah, I really don't know. I'm assuming they'll show what my letters said at some point.

Carl was writing his letters in the opening montage set to "At The Bottom of Everything" in one of The Walking Dead's few uses of contemporary music. He had a nice little stack of letters going, and the camera revealed that he'd written one each to Rick, Michonne, Judith, and Enid. While we could see who he was writing to and that he was writing, it wasn't clear what final messages he was noting for his loved ones. According to Chandler Riggs, there were no specific lines in the script for what Carl was saying in the letters. If The Walking Dead does ultimately reveal what was written, it probably won't show whatever Riggs himself wrote while filming the midseason premiere.

All things considered, the scene of Carl writing goodbyes to his loved ones just in case he never got to see them again was an odd combination of heartbreaking and heartwarming. Unlike other characters who have bitten the dust on The Walking Dead, Carl got a few quiet moments to himself to collect his thoughts, make his peace, and say what he needed to say before he was consumed by fever. He even got to play with Judith before all hell broke loose in Alexandria. Those relatively uplifting moments were a fitting way to kick off what will undoubtedly go down as one of the most heartbreaking episodes of the entire series. After all, we had enough material for a list of 7 times The Walking Dead's midseason premiere made us want to sob.

Hopefully we will someday get to find out what Carl wrote to Rick, Michonne, Judith, Enid, and any others he may have penned letters to in his final hours. It's difficult to imagine the show never revisits the plot point. Revealing the contents later on could emotionally reconnect viewers to the tragedy of Carl's death. Characters' deaths can sometimes lose their impacts if the aftermath is filled with action and bloodshed; the letters could be a way for Carl's legacy to continue. We'll have to wait and see. The preview for the next episode does show Rick with his letter. There's always the chance that we could see Carl again some way or other. It worked for Abraham! At least the episode shed some light on that flashforward that has been mystifying fans since the very first full Season 8 trailer debuted.

Tune in to AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of The Walking Dead. If you're still in the market for other shows (or just want to watch something a little less heartbreaking than post-Carl Walking Dead for a while), you can find a wide variety on our 2018 midseason premiere schedule, our 2018 Netflix premiere rundown, and our 2018 Amazon Prime guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).