The Walking Dead was once the biggest show on television! I know that may be hard to believe with the decline, but it’s true. The Walking Dead is a show that once garnered over 17 million viewers! 17 million viewers are nothing to scoff at! That’s a whole lot of eyes on The Walking Dead, which is obviously what AMC wants. These days the show is lucky if it even hits 4 million viewers. In fact, it almost never hits 4 million viewers which is a pathetic amount compared to what it used to bring in. The decline all started back in season 6 because that was the season where things started really going downhill. The show was still incredibly entertaining, it’s just they chose to do a lot of teasing. That was the season of Glenn under the dumpster and the fake Darryl death. This is too bad because the introduction of Negan remains one of the best parts of the entire show. It’s just too bad they ruined it by trying to end everything in cliffhangers. The season 10 finale, ‘Here’s Negan’ was amazing though. Sadly, viewers are still declining despite the amazing season 10 finale. It might have started in season 6, but Carl’s death was the real culprit.
Season 6 was the beginning of the decline, but what really hurt the show the most is when Carl died. It sent the show into a rating nosedive, and honestly, The Walking Dead has never recovered. This is certainly a shame because the show has had some seriously stellar moments since season 6. Most fans seem to have checked out though. This is a shame! What made Carl’s death so terrible though? Well, one of the issues is that Carl isn’t supposed to, y’know, be dead. It was a huge deviation from the source material. Almost as big as Andrea’s departure.
The Comic Books
The Walking Dead ended suddenly with issue #192 without any prior warning. Robert Kirkman actually kind of trolled everyone. Not only were fans not told that the series was ending, but he even solicited two extra issues to make sure no one would have any suspicions. The books always followed Rick Grimes, but it was becoming increasingly apparent that that was going to need to change. Rick had taken a severe beating over the years, was disabled and honestly wasn’t doing too well. He died suddenly in the comics, and Carl took over as the main protagonist. This was right near the end of the series. Carl was able to help build a civilization and he gives all the credit to Rick.
See, most of the storyline that was happening in The Walking Dead at the time Carl died, and all the upcoming ones, kind of needed Carl. 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 storyline with the Commonwealth now that both Carl and Rick are no longer on the show.
The Television Show
Season 8 of The Walking Dead had Carl die from a walker bite. He took the bite while saving Siddiq, and sadly there was no saving him. Even worse is that Chandler Riggs never wanted to leave the show either, reportedly. The episodes with his death, and the following ones mourning him, were absolutely gut-wrenching. That doesn’t mean people were happy about his death though. As they shouldn’t be, since Carl was an integral character for the upcoming plot to develop.
Over 8 seasons Carl’s safety was Rick’s main concern. Carl’s safety was always at the forefront of Rick’s mind. Surprisingly, the death of Carl didn’t seem to affect him very much. When Lori died Rick literally went crazy in the prison. He moved on from Carl’s death pretty freaking fast, and that’s something fans couldn’t get behind. The biggest blow of all, though, was finding out that Carl’s death served no purpose! Siddiq would end up dying later on, anyway! All Carl ever really accomplished was saving Siddiq, so that Siddiq could have a kid. Thanks, I guess. Glad you died for that.
Maybe if they’d kept Carl around maybe the show wouldn’t have nosedived as it did. We’ll never know now.
Alexander is passionate about everything related to gaming, comics, television, and film. You can usually find him watching some kind of DC show and can also find his writing on Multiversal News, something he’s helping to build.