College Could Be Death Of One ‘Walking Dead’ Character

By November 25, 2016
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There are potential spoilers ahead for the current season of The Walking Dead. Don’t want to read them? Then try out this story talking about how we might remake Alien Nation today.

Fans might not have been happy about losing characters in the seventh season of The Walking Dead, but try being one of the survivors.

riggs1-inset112516Someone not taking it well is the young Carl Grimes, son of star Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. And some observant fans are speculating the teenager will spiral out of control, right into an early exit by the end of the season.

Sure, it would be shocking to have yet another big death on the AMC series. But this time, it seems this death might have a more real-world reason – actor Chandler Riggs is ready go to finish up high school and go college.

Riggs’ real-life father, William, typically tweets about his son’s adventures on set. But lately, he’s been using a hashtag, according to Us Weekly, that has some fans worried: “Freedom.”

Needless to say, there will never be a confirmation from father, son or the AMC bigwigs as to Carl’s fate; we’ll just have to wait and see if he bites the big one in an upcoming episode (or if the big one bites him, as the case may be). But within the context of the show, it’s possible that the producers have been subtly preparing us for Carl’s death all this time.

riggs2-inset112516Riggs, who turned 17 in June, is from Atlanta, which is where The Walking Dead is filmed. However, he was recently accepted into Auburn University, located in Alabama, and a little more than 100 miles south of the city. It’s a commute Riggs could probably make in 90 minutes or so, depending on Interstate 85 traffic. But working a tough job like Walking Dead and pursuing a degree probably aren’t two things that go together.

While it is possible to create a mishap that simply has Carl disappear … it would be a big assumption to believe Walking Dead would still produce episodes by the time Riggs is done in 2021. But then again, anything is possible if there are more zombie stories to tell, and people willing to watch them.

Instead, at least according to Us writer Kat Rosenfield, it’s more likely Walking Dead scribes will go back to the old tried and true when it comes to dealing with cast departures.

As of the most recent episode, it’s clear that Carl is on a mission to find the Sanctuary and kill Negan – the kind of violent showdown he’s been trying to have with someone, anyone, since he first learned to shoot. 

As for Rick, who has been letting Negan boss him around so far, the death of his only son at the hands of the bat-wielding psychopath might be the one thing that galvanizes him to get back into ass-kicking murderer mode, and give Negan the death he so richly deserves.

Negan is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who joined the cast last April.

What will happen? We’ll just have to wait and see. The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. This weekend’s episode focuses a bit on Tara Chambler and Heath (Alanna Masterson and Corey Hawkins), who run into trouble after crossing paths with a new mysterious group.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.