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Andrew Lincoln on ‘The Walking Dead’s’ ‘Unbearable Final Farewell’

Published on February 26th, 2018 | Updated on February 26th, 2018 | By FanFest

Don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen The Walking Dead’s most recent episode. 

As fans of The Walking Dead, losing characters is something you’ve got to be able to get used to. It doesn’t make the hurt any less impactful or the shock of knowing who less intense, but it’s part of the series. We are watching a group of survivors try to make a life amongst the undead.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to like it. Especially not when it’s Carl that we just said goodbye to. Fans across the world were trying to sort through emotions as they prepared for what was coming and while it was hard on viewers, it was nearly impossible on the cast.

Andrew Lincoln spoke with EW about the unbearable farewell to Carl and in a way, to Chandler too. While the cast will continue to support him in future endeavors, his time as part of this huge series has come to an end.

When asked if a particular moment of the episode really got him, Andrew said it was all of them. It was the entire episode.

I think all of it. The final farewell is really unbearable. The crew is just astonishing. I said to them during the church scene that you could hear a pin drop the whole night. I was so focused and it went through the night until daybreak. We came out to the outside and it just kind of happened — Chandler and Danai and I all got sort of giggly that we’ve done this thing, and we all hugged each afterward. Yeah, that was a really special moment because you go into these big scenes with a little bit of apprehension of, Will I get it right and will I do justice for this man’s legacy on the show? I thought that, but we all went home satisfied that night.

In terms of the goodbye itself, Andrew says the hardest part was saying goodbye to this man he’d seen grow up since he was a boy. He loves Chandler, he loved Carl, and it was a terribly sad thing to experience as Andrew and as Rick.

It was rough. You came out so sad. He’s been spectacular in all areas, as he pretty much has been the whole time I’ve known him. He’s really a young man and it’s been one of the greatest privileges to watch this man grow up on screen in front of my eyes. So yeah, saying goodbye is something that we’ve gotten used to on this show, but I’ll say it again — the wife and his son were the original chief things that got Rick out of that hospital bed in that first episode, and it’s terribly sad today. I’m like that guy left on the pier, you know? He’s lost his most precious cargo.

When you work with somebody and watch a boy going to a man in front of your eyes — you love this guy. You admire him, and learn from him, and you see him growing into this remarkable young man. He’s taught you about his country, and his family, and he has this beautiful heart into your heart. I just loved watching and marveling at this really extraordinary young man.

When faced with the idea of not only Carl’s death but his vision for the future, Andrew was confused. At first, he thought it was some sort of double reality, but when Gimple explained it to him, he took it as more of this astonishing way Carl got to say goodbye.

I think the one consolation was we rarely get to say goodbye on our show. You don’t get to have these kind of moments. People are ripped from you unceremoniously in this world, and so for Carl to be able to offer this gift, this vision for the future — it’s absolutely gut-wrenching, but it’s rather beautiful at the same time and sets up a very interesting problem for Rick.

That interesting problem is very likely the final person Judith says hello to in his vision. Good ol’ Negan himself. It’s no surprise that Carl wanted the fighting to be over, but for Rick to be able to let it all go and then invite Negan into a community where he seems comfortable and full of joy? It seems like a far-off idea, but not an entirely impossible one.

In fact, we’re really curious to see what happens when Negan learns of Carl’s death. Perhaps it’ll be a force that strikes a change within him, too.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.

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