Warning: Spoilers for Season 8 of “The Walking Dead” ahead!
We knew the departure of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” in the upcoming midseason premiere would be sad — but now we’ll have an extra 22 minutes to cry about it. Instead of the usual 60 minute runtime, the return from hiatus will be 82 minutes long, Entertainment Weekly reported Wednesday.
In Season 8’s midseason finale, the audience discovers that Carl has been bitten by a zombie. If you know anything about the show, you know that a zombie bite is almost always a death sentence (Carl was bitten on his side, so no hope of amputating the infected area).
Riggs told EW that he’s happy with Carl’s send off and the legacy he’ll be leaving behind. “Carl wasn’t being forgotten. He might be gone, but he’s leaving behind something that’s going to last for a long time,” he said.
But his co-stars are sad to see him go. Norman Reedus, who plays fan favorite Daryl Dixon, said he was “desperately unhappy” to hear about Riggs’ departure, and Andrew Lincoln, who plays Carl’s dad Rick Grimes, said he didn’t know what to say when then-showrunner Scott Gimple told him the news.
“I never saw it coming because I always thought that the kid would be the future, and that was the whole point of this — that I was going to hand over the revolver and let him walk off into the distance, you know? So it was incredibly shocking,” Lincoln said. “Everybody was reeling from it and continue to reel from it.”
“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on Sunday, Feb. 25.