Scott Gimple, the executive producer and showrunner for The Walking Dead, has described the show’s latest big death as being “nuclear”.
The Walking Dead has seen plenty of familiar faces come and go over the seasons but that hasn’t stopped fans from being saddened by the demise of Carl Grimes, who has been with the show since season one.
Scott Gimple, the showrunner for the AMC zombie series, has spoken to Variety ahead of the mid-season eight premiere about how the show will move beyond Carl’s death:
“It’s nuclear in how it affects the characters, how it affects the story, how it affects their world moving forward,” Gimple said. “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. It might be very tragic. It might be very hopeful. It might be somewhere in between. Not all the characters are going to respond the same way, and the tragedy itself makes it very difficult to hear Carl’s words and to act on them in a way that he wants.”
Gimple went on to add: “It couldn’t be more personal this time around because not only has he been there since the beginning, but he also grew up on the show. It’s incredibly difficult. The Walking Dead is cursed, because it is a show that has some of the warmest, most professional, most giving actors I’ve ever seen share a soundstage together. Yet it is a show where people regularly die because that’s the world they inhabit.”
Even though the series has seen major character deaths in the past, Gimple said that Carl’s death is “one of the hardest deaths,” the series has experienced and that it “is a really important story with an important message.
“It’s an unbelievable tragedy to see this character go, but his death is not the end of his story,” Gimple explains.
It certainly sounds like things are going to be heavily impacted by these events. Are you happy to see Carl go? Or do you wish he stuck around a bit longer?
All out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors. At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.
But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader. In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.
As all-out-war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.