The Walking Dead boss says Carl Grimes’ impending death is an “unbelievable tragedy”.
Fans were up in arms over the news that Carl (Chandler Riggs) was to be written out of the hit zombie show after the revelation in the mid-season finale that he’d been bitten by a zombie.
But while showrunner Scott Gimple is sticking with his decision, he has now conceded that the loss of Carl is an “unbelievable tragedy” for the show.
Speaking to Variety ahead of The Walking Dead’s return, Gimple admitted that Carl’s demise is “one of the hardest deaths ever”, but insisted that it’s integral to the story.
“It’s nuclear in how it affects the characters, how it affects the story, how it affects their world moving forward,” he explained, teasing that Carl’s death will have massive consequences.
“The death of this character, this young hero… it creates the last sort of conversation of who these people are going to be and how they’re going to move into the future.
“I believe this is a really important story with an important message.”
Gimple, however, has reassured fans that Carl’s legacy will still live on.
“His death is not the end of his story,” he said.
In a recent interview, Riggs confirmed his character’s fate when the show returns.
“Carl is going to die,” the actor said. “There’s no way he can get back from that. His story is definitely coming to an end.”
It is thought, however, that Carl may make cameo appearances in flashback scenes later in the season.
“You’ll see bits and pieces and memories of Carl throughout the second half,” Riggs said.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday 25 February in the US and will follow a day later on FOX UK.