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Andrew Lincoln on ‘The Walking Dead’s Biggest Death and Greatest Shock

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If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, we recommend you stop reading now. We also recommend that you start the series from season 1 and look back at all the good times. Or at least, the times as good as one could expect during the apocalypse.

We all went into the episode expecting a shock, but we didn’t expect to have a front row seat to easily the most painful episode of the series.

Andrew Lincoln recently spoke with EW about the episode and the shocking news that devastated the cast. He said that Gimple called him to let him know that he was going to hate ‘this one’. However, he didn’t even consider Carl being an option for the character death. He named four others before Gimple ended up telling him.

Scott Gimple always makes a phone call to everybody, and he said to me, “You’re going to hate this one.” And I mentioned four names. None of them were right, and he had to tell me that it was the kid. I was so shocked that he said three times, “Are you there? Are you there? Are you there?” I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say.

Andrew, like us, thought Carl would be the future. He was completely blindsided by this decision, as was the rest of the cast.

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. Everybody was reeling from it and continue to reel from it.

Not only was Carl an integral part of the series, he was the reason Rick decided on survival when he woke up in that hospital at the beginning. He had to see his son, he had to get his heart back. Now, having lost Lori and on the brink of losing Carl…who will Rick Grimes become?

I mean, you can’t write a character like Rick Grimes — whose engines are his wife and his son — and you take away the wife and you’re left with the son. And then, of course, there’s Judith, but then you take away the other engine that fuels him, that got him off his deathbed in the first ever episode, and you take that away. That’s not done lightly, you know? And from this episode onwards, that s— got real.

It looks like we won’t have to wait long to find out. The midseason premiere airs in February and Andrew himself says that s— got real from this episode on. We’ll see a different Rick Grimes in the future, but what will that mean? Will he take a road similar to that of Morgan and find himself in a deep disconnect with those around him or will he be forced to show strength as those around him deal with this heartwrenching loss? If he does go that route, will we see an inevitable break in the future?It’s been one of the great gifts of my career to spend so much time with this young man and watch him develop

No matter what, losing Chandler on set will be a big loss, especially for Andrew. When asked, he said it’s been one of the greatest gifts of his career to work so closely with Chandler. If we know how much we’ll miss their connection, we can’t imagine what the mood will be like on set as they continue a series we all thought would be led, eventually, by Carl.

It’s been one of the great gifts of my career to spend so much time with this young man and watch him develop. And also, he’s super smart, and he’s incredibly composed as a young man. I just think to be able to navigate the schooling years in the zombie apocalypse, it takes a big man, and they found him in Chandler Riggs.

Carl’s fate will be sealed during the midseason premiere this February, and from there, we’ll see what happens next to Rick and the rest of the group. His death will undoubtedly cause a ripple effect that touches characters in ways we don’t yet expect, changing the course of the future.

To see what Chandler had to say about that mid-season finale moment, read his interview with us, below.

Fan Fest Exclusive Interview: Chandler Riggs on ‘The Walking Dead’s Shocking Mid-Season Finale Moment

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Ashley Dye
'...but I knew him'