Every character on The Walking Dead is expendable, but at the same time, that isn’t quite true. We’re unlikely to ever see Rick die (and if we do, it won’t be for a long time yet) and AMC has proven that it would take nothing less than Norman Reedus walking away from the show completely to get rid of Daryl Dixon by refusing to kill him off in the season seven premiere. Another character that qualifies as “safe” is Carl Grimes. Carl is one of the most important characters in the show and in the comic on which the show is based, so there’s no chance of the younger Grimes going anywhere anytime soon … or is there?
Conversations have sparked that Chandler Riggs, the actor who plays Carl, may be planning to leave the show on account of being accepted to Auburn University next fall. Earlier this month, the actor took to Twitter to make the exciting announcement and in addition, his father William posted on both Facebook and Instagram that his son had completed his seven-year contract with The Walking Dead, which some construed as a hint that his time with the show was coming to an end. The original Facebook post was later deleted and replaced with a shorter one.
More interestingly, the elder Riggs’ Instagram post contained the cryptic hashtag “#freedom,” which of course has some fans speculating that Riggs may be finished with the show altogether. However, it must be said that freedom from a seven year contract is certainly cause for celebration in and of itself, as Riggs is now free to renegotiate terms for his next contract (and ask for a lot more money).
Despite the “evidence” of Riggs’ departure, no one from his camp or The Walking Dead have made so much as a hint as to the possibility of the actor leaving the show. With the show introducing more characters and settings than ever, one would assume that Riggs may not need to make as sizable a shooting commitment as he once did going forward. Additionally, the show is filmed in and around Atlanta, which isn’t really all that far from Auburn University in Alabama, so it’s not like Riggs would have too far to go if he had to split his time between the show and his studies.
All that being said, we’re now kind of dreading next week’s episode. Carl is currently on his way to try and kill Negan, which of course won’t work out very well for him. If ever there was a time to shockingly kill off a character we all thought was safe, this would be it …