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Negan and Carl in The Sanctuary

Season 8 of The Walking Dead has been a doozy, and last week's midseason premiere was no exception. After revealing he'd suffered a walker bite to the ribs in the midseason finale, fans were given a few months to process Carl's death before it eventually occurred in the new episode "Honor". The episode was extremely emotional, as one of the last remaining original cast members leave the series after years of work. This was made even more heartfelt, as the fans and crew have watched Chandler Riggs grow up in front of their eyes. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan was not one to be left out, and recently penned a lovely tribute to Riggs following his highly anticipated departure from the apocalyptic drama. He said,

Chandler Riggs 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.

It turns out that Negan has a heart after all. Well maybe not the character, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan is as emotional about Carl's death as the rest of us.

While Carl may have had a tenure on The Walking Dead full of high and lows, it appears that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was always a fan of Rick's only son. Before he was eventually cast as the bat wielding Negan, Morgan was a Walking Dead fans like the rest of us. He too watched Chandler Riggs grow up on screen (although Carl technically only should have gotten a few years older in the timeline).

Additionally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan revealed how fascinated he is with Carl and Negan's relationship in Robert Kirkman's comics. Indeed, this dynamic was a highlight during Season 7, when Carl attempts to assassinate Negan from within The Sanctuary. In his Instagram post dedicated to Chandler Riggs, Morgan revealed how bummed he is that they couldn't continue playing with that relationship within the confines of the show, saying:

I'll forever be disappointed 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.

I'm not crying, you're crying! Like cast members such as Danai Gurira, it seems that Chandler Riggs' departure from The Walking Dead is really striking an emotional note with Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Now the question is: how will Negan react when he finds out Carl is gone?

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our superhero premiere list and Amazon premiere list so you don't miss a single episode.

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