Fans have been waiting for Rick Grimes and Negan to read the Carl Grimes letters. Between Carl getting bit by a walker and him turning into a walker, the boy truly lived his last day to the fullest. Part of this meant spending his final hours in the sun and with Judith, but part of it meant writing about his dreams for the future.
But, Season 8 has been presented out of order, so parts of the letter were actually on the screen back in “How It’s Gotta Be.” Before Carl Grimes revealed his bite to Rick Grimes and Michonne, he spent some time protecting his people and chatting with Negan. At the gate, he asked Negan if this is what he really wanted.
This, of course, is when he offered up his life for the good of the cause. But, we now know that Carl was already dying when this happened.
Negan’s Last Conversation With Carl Grimes
After Simon stopped Maggie, Negan arrived outside of Alexandria to put an end to the war. “I was willing to work with you,” said Negan over his intercom. “All you had to do was follow a few very simple rules. But now, well now I see you’ve got to go. Scorched earth you dick,” he said in an unheard message to Rick Grimes.
This is when Carl Grimes answered the call. “He’s not home,” said the boy. In many ways, Negan and Rick were partially fighting over the soul of the boy. They both saw him as a son, even though Rick raised the kid and protected him as best he could. In fact, when Negan heard he died, he knew Carl should have been “the future.”
“Answering the door like a big boy,” said Negan outside of the gate. “I am so proud. Daddy’s not home, huh? Well I guess he’s going to get back to a big smoky surprise.” At this point, Negan was being his big bad persona. In other scenes with Jadis or Carl, he opened up, but he can’t do that in front of everyone. Therefore, when Carl calls him out, it sticks.
The conversations between Negan and Carl and Rick have all been about past situations. Negan started to talk about Carl killing his own mother. Negan thinks something like that would have no happened if he was there. He’s also mad that Rick wants him dead without any type of compromise.
“Kill me,” said Carl Grimes. “If you have to kill someone… If there has to be punishment, then kill me. I’m serious,” he added. “No, I don’t [want to die], but I will. It’s gonna happen. And, if me dying can stop this, if it can make things different, for us, for you, for all those other kids, then it would be worth it,” he said.
We now know there was more truth to this statement than anyone knew, but Negan got furious at the statement. Back then, he still wanted to save people. “Negan, was this the plan? Was it supposed to be this way? Is this who you wanted to be?”