When The Walking Dead resumes season 8 next month, the show won’t brush over the death of Carl Grimes — arguably the series’ biggest loss to date.
“All we can say is when he DOES die the show will not brush over it. Prepare for the worst,” wrote Johnny O’Dell during the latest edition of Skybound’s The Walking Dead fan mailbag.
“We can’t divulge exactly how Rick grieves, but we can confirm Carl’s death impacts him more than any death since Lori,” O’Dell added.
“Unfortunately for Rick, Carl’s death comes at a horrible time. He’s in the middle of a war, his home was just destroyed, and Negan and The Saviors have a chokehold on his allied communities.”
The season 8 mid-season finale saw Carl, who had been bit by a walker two episodes prior, step up to defend Alexandria against an attack from a retaliating Negan and the Saviors.
Alexandria’s residents fled to the sewers below as their walled-off community was bombed, and it was there an exhausted Carl revealed to Rick and Michonne an incurable walker bite on his midsection.
Carl’s death will lead to “sad times” ahead, with Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln describing the loss as Rick’s “worst nightmare being realized.”
“The back half [of the season] is him trying to live through the unbelievable pain, in the middle of a war, and trying to reconcile this loss with what he’s fighting for,” Lincoln told EW.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Lincoln explained Carl’s death will drive the back half of season 8.
“Obviously gather from what happened, Rick and Michonne and everybody, the fallout from Carl’s death is, is they’re gonna need each other to be able to get through and navigate what was an unfathomable loss,” Lincoln said. “I think there will be a lot time spent between those characters trying to work out how they move on.”
“All of the back eight is this terrible death,” Lincoln added. “This emotion is unending throughout the whole cast and, I think, it’s palpable. The cost of this battle is much more full because of what happened.”
Photos released Thursday offer a sneak peek look at the mid-season premiere, which will serve as a send-off for Carl.
The Walking Dead resumes its eighth season Sunday, February 25 on AMC.