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– by Seth McDonald

*THIS POST CONTAINED SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON *

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The Walking Dead returned last night from hiatus, and fans were shown flashbacks of Carl Grimes last day. The popular character was bitten during a fight with a walker in the mid-season finale, and many fans have criticized the decision to kill him off. Carl is still alive in the comic books, so this is a pretty big change for the show to take the story this way. Show-runner Scott Gimple has faced a good deal of backlash from this decision, and recently spoke to TVLine about the reasons behind it:

“We wanted to tell a version of the comic story that kept emotions similar to what you’d get when reading the [source material] but in different ways, so that the comic-book-reading audience didn’t expect what was going to happen. We plan to do that moving forward as well — sometimes pulling moments from the book in sort of verbatim ways and sometimes in ways that are very different, with the goal of heightening the message in some way. Carl’s death fell into that [category]. This in many ways is sort of the ending of an era for The Walking Dead and the starting of a new one.”

RELATED: The Walking Dead ‘Honor’ Review: The End Of [SPOILERS]

Chadler Riggs recently graduated high school, and was planning on going to college. What influence this had on the showrunner’s decision isn’t known, but Riggs said his leaving the show came as a surprise to not only him, but other cast members as well. Riggs told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Leaving Walking Dead wasn’t my decision. I was planning on going to college until I found out. I found out when I was doing rehearsals for episode six back in June. It was quite the shocker for me, Andy and everyone because I don’t think anyone saw it coming. It’s definitely not a bad thing because it has been awesome being on the show but now I get to go and do a lot of other stuff that I haven’t gotten to do before. Scott wanted to meet in person because it was such a big deal. We had just finished rehearsing for a scene in episode six and he wanted to meet with me and my mom and dad and talk about what’s going to happen.”

Carl was born into a completely messed up world, the poor guy never got to be a kid and had to perform one of the more unspeakable acts on the show (offscreen) killing his own mother who had died giving birth to his sister Judith, and like everyone else would soon turn to a walker. One of the few remaining Season 1 characters, Carl will be missed.

What are your thoughts on the show killing off Carl? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: THR TVLine