Warning: This story contains a huge spoiler for the Season 8 mid-season finale.
Fans of “The Walking Dead” were heartbroken Sunday night after Season 8’s eighth episode, in which we find out that Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) has been bit on his side by a walker. We know the inevitable is coming — showrunner Scott Gimple called his bite a “one-way ticket” on Sunday’s episode of “The Talking Dead.”
Riggs’ father, William Riggs, said on Facebook that he was disappointed that his son was made to leave the show, adding that he “never trusted” Gimple or the show’s network AMC.
“Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing,” Riggs said. “I never trusted [Scott M.] Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!”
Riggs’ on-screen father, played by Andrew Lincoln, told The Hollywood Reporter that he met the news with silence.
“Scott Gimple called me up and said, ‘You’re going to hate this one.’ He’s very good about alerting the cast when there’s going to be a [character] death,” Lincoln said, adding that he tried to guess but “was nowhere near Chandler Riggs’ name.”
“I just didn’t speak for a minute. I always thought Carl was going to be the one who led the show forward; that Rick would hand over his boots and revolver when he walked off into the sunset in Season 28.”
Riggs has been a staple character since Season 1, and his character’s death marks a big departure from the comics by Robert Kirkman on which the show is based; Carl is still a prominent character there.
Riggs has previously said that leaving the show was not his decision. On Monday, the 18-year-old actor retweeted one of his own tweets from October that said “idk if i’ll ever be as successful as i am right now, but im so glad i got this chance to help tell a story that actually impacts people.”