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‘The Walking Dead’ Star Chandler Riggs Insists ‘Carl Wasn’t Being Forgotten’

Young actor discusses his character’s legacy

Of all the deaths we’ve been through on “The Walking Dead,” the death of Carl Grimes just might hit the hardest — especially because of the cliffhanger way the audience found out about his fate.

Actor Chandler Riggs, who plays the one-eyed son of the show’s main character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is happy with the legacy his character is leaving behind, though.

“It’s really cool knowing that my character still has a legacy that was left behind,” Riggs said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Carl wasn’t being forgotten. He might be gone, but he’s leaving behind something that’s going to last for a long time.”

One way Carl will last on the show is the impact he makes on his dad.

Although Carl’s story is ending, “he does have a lot to say,” Riggs said. “He’s been watching Rick over the last however many years, and has been learning from him and seeing every mistake that he’s made and every right decision,” Riggs said.

“And he’s turned out to be a really well-shaped leader — kind of suited for this world and an icon for the new age,” Riggs continued. “And so Carl’s just really going to be trying to teach Rick as much as he can.”

In the Season 8 midseason finale, fans found out that Carl was bitten by a zombie — and if you know anything about “TWD,” you know a bite from a “walker” is an impending death sentence. But we won’t actually see Carl’s death until the midseason premiere on February 25.

Riggs said the “coolest”part of playing Carl’s final moments was knowing that his character will have a “lasting impact on the story.”

And though the death of Carl is a plot change from the comics on which the AMC show is based, Riggs finds the reversal “interesting.”

“It’s just a complete 180 and kind of put Rick in this affair of wanting to kill Negan [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] constantly,” Riggs said. “And it’s really cool to see a different side of it and see Carl trying to influence him in the other direction.”

Catch “The Walking Dead” on AMC when it returns for the second half of Season 8 on Feb. 25 at 9/8 c.