After a successful eight year run, The Walking Dead has decided to make a change they can’t come back from. After the series revealed a bite from Season 8A, fans started to come up with outrageous theories, but nothing could save the boy. Carl Grimes is gone and the show may not really ever be able to recover.
In the extended premiere of The Walking Dead Season 8B, Carl Grimes said his long goodbye to friends and family. After the boy realized the truth about his demise, he spent some time with his little sister, wrote a note to his friends, and encouraged his father to push for peace in the new world.
The episode was both touching and sad, but it’s mainly going to leave an empty space in the hearts of fans and for the future of the show.
The Death Of Carl Grimes May Be Final Straw
Carl Grimes literally grew up on The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes will always be the “star,” but Carl was his reason for living. Plus, Carl got even better in the final 8-24 episodes, causing him to die as a martyr. As he became more sympathetic, fans grew closer to the character and then they snatched him away.
Carl told Michonne that she was his friend. He set Negan straight and maybe made him rethink his lifestyle. Then, he played with his sister. In his final moment on earth, he even took his own life and spared his father and new mother the guilt. In the end, he was both noble and tragic. But that’s it for Carl Grimes.
The death was epic and great, but it’s still painful, sad, and somewhat annoying. It’s hard to imagine how they can fix this scenario.
Another Major Death On The Walking Dead
The show has taken lives over and over again, but it’s different with Carl. Unlike Glenn, Abraham, Sasha, Tyreese, Beth, and Andrea, Carl was different. If a character is killed to shock fans, bump up the ratings, or throw in an emotional highpoint, then that’s a massive mistake.
AMC’s The Walking Dead has always been Carl’s story. When actor Andrew Lincoln heard the news from showrunner Scott Gimple, he couldn’t believe it. He quit talking on the phone, didn’t have a response, and sent several emails after to confirm. Personally, he was upset for his friend, Chandler Riggs.
After all, we’ve all the seen the boy (who he describes as his “American son”) literally grow up from age ten to age eighteen.
Carl Grimes Is The Most Important Comic Character
Forbes writes, “Carl is just the latest in a long line of character deaths that serve little purpose and ultimately weaken The Walking Dead’s story… “ In addition, it also makes fans question previous deaths. If the writers can simply change up the adaptation, then why couldn’t they save Glenn a little longer?
Glenn Rhee’s death was a “surprise,” seeing as Abraham had already been killed, taking the punishment from Negan. Glenn’s death almost seemed like an error in judgment, or some point of contact to make people truly hate Negan. Either way, these deaths are causing a bigger problem than we’ve seen before.
Without Carl, Glenn, Hershel, Beth, Tyreese, and Sasha, the show is simply running out of characters for fans to even care about.
The Problem With Walking Dead And Game Of Thrones
In an effort to be innovative, AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones are two adaptations that aren’t afraid to kill off a main character. Fans applauded when main characters were killed in the beginning, because it made it clear that the shows were not going to be cookie-cutter models.
On most other shows, we’re introduced to a star and he’s going to survive until the very end. Even Breaking Bad made the decision not to kill Jesse Pinkman (originally a minor character) once they realized fans loved the character. Either way, writing character deaths to shock is lazy writing.
Killing off characters makes a series entertaining, plus it is somewhat expected in the post-apocalyptic, flesh-eating world of walkers on The Walking Dead. But, it hurts a show more than it can save it. It’s almost like asking an athlete to retire early. Sure, they’ll sell tickets to the final game, but then what?
Basically, they need to have some big plans to turn things around. This could mean more to the crossover with Fear the Walking Dead, but that’s still not enough.
Characters We Care About And Beyond…
Fans have stuck with The Walking Dead this long before these are characters we all care about. Carl Grimes was supposed to “beat this world.” Now, that journey has gone on to Judith. But, because his story mattered, showing that he lost his journey in the middle of the story is a major disappointment.
Since the series wants to be around for around 20 seasons, we’re basically in the middle. If you compare the overall story arc to a movie, the midpoint is often a weak point. But, on a show where ratings are everything, the series can’t have a weak point. It has to be at the top of its game, every single season.
Basically, we’re not watching the show about random survivors, because random survivors don’t matter. Saddiq is likable, but if he died in the next episode, fans wouldn’t even talk about leaving the show. Plus, a rotation of characters is boring. The original characters will always be the best. Their stories matter the most.
Everything else that happens on the show will only compare to Glenn, Abraham, Carl and so on. Characters like Glenn, Carl, and even Noah had a longer story to tell that simply ended before their time. No matter what happens on the future of the show, it will all be built around filling the Carl Grimes-shaped hole that’s missing.
Do you think The Walking Dead can really turn things around?