Spoiler Alert! The following contains spoilers from season 8 of The Walking Dead.
We all hoped it wasn’t true and that this wasn’t actually happening but, according to Entertainment Weekly, The Walking Dead‘s mid-season 8 premiere will be the episode many have been dreading. During the mid-season premiere, Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs) will succumb to the walker bite injury.
Director Greg Nicotero spoke with EW about the episode and it should come as no surprise that things got pretty emotional while watching the scenes in playback. Nicotero said:
“I think it’s one of our most powerful episodes that we’ve ever produced. When I watched the first cut of this episode, tears were coming out of my eyes 20 minutes into it.”
The Walking Dead has featured its fair share of emotional moments but none can really compare to that rare moment of losing one of the main cast members – in this case, one of the original cast members. When asked what fans can expect from the upcoming episode, Nicotero compared it to another heartbreaking moment – the moment when Tyreese (played by Chad Coleman) died in the episode What Happened and What’s Going On. Nicotero said:
“I would compare this episode very much to the episode with Chad Coleman in terms of really having some space to breathe with these characters as they process what happened.”
Fans will certainly need a lot of time to process the loss of Carl but, Nicotero thinks (or hopes) that by the end of the mid-season premiere, fans will be able to make peace with their loss. He leaves off with a message to the fans by saying:
“It’s a beautiful episode and the people that clearly are upset about losing Carl and questioning where the show goes without Carl — I really do believe that a lot of people will put those feelings aside when they watch this episode because they’re really going to get an opportunity to make some peace with it.” He pauses. “I mean, that’s what I think. I don’t know, I could be completely wrong.”
The Walking Dead was recently renewed for a 9th season at AMC with a brand new showrunner Angela Kang at the helm. The series will return for the second half of season 8 starting on February 25th at 9 PM EST on AMC.
Now that you’ve had some time to process that crazy mid-season finale reveal, how do you feel about the fate of Carl Grimes? What do you think about Greg Nicotero’s message to the fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!