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The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has defended the decision to kill off a key character in upcoming episodes of the hit zombie series.
Last month’s mid-season finale saw Carl Grimes, played by Chandler Riggs, bitten by a deadly zombie – and his death is expected when the show returns for its mid-season premiere next month.
Fans are less than happy about the decision, largely because Carl is still alive in the comic books, and features in a very prominent storyline later down the line.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, American comic book writer Kirkman said: “I think Scott [M. Gimple, showrunner] first brought it up to me as a possibility probably about a year ago at this point. At first, I was kind of like, ‘Well, that’s a big one, you know?’ I might have had a little bit of trepidation.
“But once he laid out to me exactly what his long-term plans were, and the things that come out of it, and the things that it leads to, it was something I got on board with,” he continued.
Kirkman, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, said that fans weren’t supposed to be happy when characters die. “We are supposed to be worrying about what comes next, and anticipating what comes next, and stressing about what comes next,” he said. “That just shows you’re engaged and you’re interested.
“Our job is to pay that off and fulfil that interest, and prove that this was a decision worth making. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
The Walking Dead season 8 returns in the US on Sunday, 25 February on AMC, and here in the UK on FOX on Monday, 26 February.