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The Walking Dead: Carl’s Death Sent the Show into a Ratings Nosedive, as the Worst Death in Show’s History

Published on February 3rd, 2021 | Updated on February 3rd, 2021 | By FanFest

Carl Grimes was the future of The Walking Dead. Don’t believe me? (Spoilers Ahead!) Carl’s death was also the biggest error in the writing of the series. Still don’t believe me?

Chandler Riggs, who portrayed Carl for 8 seasons didn’t want to leave and Carl Grimes was never supposed to die.

The Source Material

The Walking Dead comic book creator, Robert Kirkman, surprised readers this year when he abruptly ended the book at number 183. The book follows Rick Grimes’ story. However, as Rick aged and became disabled, it was clear that Carl was the future of book and even took on more focus with time. After Rick’s death in the comics, Carl was the focus and the future. Ultimately, in the final book, it was clear that Carl was the central character and gave credit to Rick’s legacy. Carl’s ability to now live and grow up in a civilized world was Rick’s ultimate achievement.

As well, the current story lines on The Walking Dead, the Whisperers, Lydia, and the future story line, with the Commonwealth, all find Carl as the central character in the comics. Henry took on Carl’s story with Lydia on the show. Judith took on Carl’s story with the relationship with Negan. And, who knows who will take on the story line with the Commonwealth now that both Carl and Rick are no longer on the show.

The Show’s Material

Season 8 saw the death of Carl Grimes after he was bitten in the side while protecting Saddiq (Avi Nash). Yes, the episodes with his passing were difficult to watch. The mourning of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) was gut wrenching. Additionally, watching other characters mourn was equally difficult. However, it didn’t make his death and the timing of his death right in the minds of viewers and for the purpose of telling the overall story of The Walking Dead.

Remember when Lori died? Remember Rick post-Lori? He was a freaking disaster. The impact of Carl’s death did not appear to impact him nearly as it did when Lori died.

Over the course of 8 seasons, Carl’s safety and well-being were the focus for Rick. He wanted to build a future for his son. How many countless times did other individuals sacrifice for Carl? Yes, Judith was also alive, but Carl was the future leader and he was learning from his father how to do so.

Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Carl’s death served absolutely no purpose on the show. Carl sacrificed for Siddiq’s safety and Siddiq is now dead. Saddiq was a doctor and did do some positive things but did it really move the story along further or change the world?

The show seemed to force the perspective that his death would somehow create a truce between Rick and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and their respective groups. However, it didn’t, as it still resulted in fighting.

So what is Carl’s legacy? Maybe the only thing is that he saved Siddiq so Siddiq could father a child. Does that child become something special to the world of The Walking Dead? If so, there is absolutely no emphasis on the child. And, it’s going to take a really long time to develop that story.

Walker Stalker Con/Heather Millsap

Chandler Riggs

Chandler Riggs didn’t want to leave The Walking Dead. Between statements made by Chandler and those made by his father, Will Riggs, it was clear that Chandler did not want to leave. Rumors and accusations of contract disputes, money, and other terms abound. However, it is curious the timing of his contract with his death.

There have been clear, defining moments on The Walking Dead where viewers stopped watching in large chunks: the deaths of Abraham and Glenn, the death of Carl, and the departure of Rick Grimes. These moments are always telling, as they signal viewers’ displeasure in the show, which is the greatest evidence of if the creatives got the story right. Carl Grimes didn’t have to die. Chandler Riggs didn’t have to leave. And, The Walking Dead would be in a better place right now with him on the show.

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51 thoughts on “The Walking Dead: Carl’s Death Sent the Show into a Ratings Nosedive, as the Worst Death in Show’s History

  1. Talk about bad writing. This article didn’t even get the correct ‘word’ in its headline. But agreed, killing Carl, especially deviating from the comics by doing so, was a bad decision. Think of all the wonderful scenes Carl and Judith could’ve had together.

  2. They dragged out the Negan & Saviors storyline season 7 & 8. Then they killed off Carl but once Rick left the show that was it for me. I watched TWD from day one but they blew it.

  3. They dragged out the Negan & Saviors storyline season 7 & 8. Then they killed off Carl but once Rick left the show that was it for me. I watched TWD from day one but they blew it.

  4. But sooooo many people that don’t die in the comics (yet) were killed before their time in the tv show. It’s weird to not follow the comics by killing characters for shock value and then also kill characters that die in the comics. At some point you are left with a cast that literally no one cares about.

  5. I was extremely ticked off when they killed Carl. I have all the comics and pretty much knew what was gonna happen each show. I was excited to see how they would make each comic come to life each week. When they decided to abruptly change it so much as to kill Carl, I stopped caring. I still watch just to see what happens to Carol and Daryl, but I don’t care if I watch it while it is airing or a day or 2 later on dvr.. I got more interested in watching Morgan save everyone on FEAR..

    #Gimple was stupid killing Carl

  6. I totally agree clear back to Beth something shifted on the whole show at that point my boys were devastated by the graphic deaths of Glen and Abraham no way did it have to be so extreme though we reeled past it when Carl died and Neagan still was allowed to live our whole family left the show that meant so much as something our teen boys would actually participate with us in very sad and very BAD Writing

  7. They CAN’T bring someone back who got bit by a zombie and then shot himself in the head lol

  8. I agree killing Carl Grimes was a foolish mistake and because of that I stopped watching walking dead after Rick Grimes left show sucks without Carl and Rick Grimes ty.

  9. I personally stopped watching walking dead after Carl Grimes was killed off show sucks now I was heartbroken about Carl and sad when Rick Grimes left tyvm

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