Stars of The Walking Dead said goodbye to co-star Chandler Riggs after the midseason premiere. One of the harsh truths that fans of The Walking Dead have to face is that no character is safe, and at any point they might have to say goodbye to one of their favorites. Unfortunately, efforts to keep the show from directly copying the comics mean that those deaths are sometimes quite a shock. So many fans were devastated last December during the midseason finale when it was revealed that young Carl Grimes - who is still alive in the books - was bitten by a walker.
Some held out hope that Carl might indeed survive in some way and that the whole thing had been a fakeout. Something similar happened with the character Glenn a few season earlier, after all. But most knew it was hopeless and when the show returned from hiatus last night with the midseason premiere "Honor" Carl's death was confirmed.
And the fans are not the only ones who were heartbroken. The cast not only has to mourn the loss of Carl, but they are also saying goodbye to actor Chandler Riggs as he moves onto other things. Riggs was only 10-years-old when he began playing Carl on the show, and the mostly adult cast has been a part of watching him grow up over the last eight years. Actors Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Ross Marquand (Aaron), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) all took to social media to wish Riggs farewell, and good luck on his next journey.
Andrew Lincoln’s new single “Chandler Ooh La La” 🙌🏼🎶 pic.twitter.com/RAg0jmEzhU— The Walking Dead (@TWDFamilyy) February 23, 2018
SPOILER (for the six people that are somehow in the dark... and get news from Instagram?) @chandlerriggs5 man.... what a pleasure. Not only getting to work with you... but, getting to know you. You, my friend, are an incredible young man. Well before joining this cast I was a fan... a fan that loved watching you grow up in front of a camera. From the moment you first put on the way too large sheriffs hat as a boy... to the end, the hat so befitting of the man Carl had become. Wiser and more compassionate than all of us. You held all of our hearts. Honestly... a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits... was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics... that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted we only scratched the surface of what could have been. BUT... I can take total solace in the fact that you are out there... doing your thing. You’ve grown into an amazing young man as well as a powerful actor... the world is your oyster Riggs. We all get to sit back and watch you kill it. So.. know you are missed on the show... but know you have a big ole group of family all here for you if needed... and eagerly awaiting whatever comes next. Love you Riggs. See you soon.
Actress Katelyn Nacon (Enid) also said goodbye to Riggs, in an interview with US Weekly:
"Chandler has always been a great friend and a great help on and off set. I know the show won't be the same without having someone of my age so easy to relate to, but I know he'll only do great things from here. I wish him only the best."
The relationship between Carl and Negan in the comics that Morgan laments the end of is unusual to say the least. The events of The Walking Dead episode "Sing me a Song" cover the beginnings of it pretty accurately, with Negan showing Carl a great deal of respect for his bravery, but also psychologically torturing the teenager by making him remove the bandages from his face and forcing him to sing. In the books, Carl later earns Negan's anger by damaging his bat Lucille, but over a few years time they form a sort of friendship, with Carl confiding in Negan - in spite of still wanting to kill him.
Previously some of the show's other actors - Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira - had expressed their sadness over the death of Carl and the realization that they would no longer see Riggs every day. And now that Riggs' final episode has been filmed and aired, the time came for the cast to say goodbye to Riggs, alongside the fans saying goodbye to Carl.
The Walking Dead continues on AMC with "The Lost and the Plunderers" on March 4 at 9 pm.