Norman Reedus ‘desperately unhappy’ about character’s fate on Walking Dead


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There are widely known spoilers for The Walking Dead in this article
The title is of course referring to the fact that Carl, a main character on The Walking Dead since the beginning, was bitten by a zombie and is expected to die/zombify when the show returns on February 25th. Carl, played by Chandler Riggs, 18, grew up on the show and is beloved by fans and costars. His character still exists in the comics, (although comic creator Robert Kirkman has defended showrunner Scott M Gimple’s decision to kill him off on the TV series) and it was thought that he was going to take over his father, Rick Grimes’s leadership. Well fans are the only ones who are angry with Carl’s exit. Star Norman Reedus (Daryl) told EW that he was “desperately unhappy about that,” and that Carl’s death will fundamentally change the show.

“I was desperately unhappy about that,” Reedus tells EW. “I’ve seen Chandler grow up from a little boy. I’ve known that kid so long, and it always hurts when you lose a family member on the show. Chandler is definitely a family member to me. I was not happy about it. I always thought Chandler would be the last man standing, to be honest.”

“The people that started this show, to me, are the heart of the show,” says Reedus. “When you lose those key members, it’s such a big blow to the show, and to the fans, and to us that are there. Who’s left? There’s only a few of us left out of all those people. If you wanted to turn it into a totally different show, you get rid of those people. But if you want to hold onto what made the show special, you’ve got to be very careful what you do with those people.”

While Reedus is upset to see Riggs go, he’s at least comforted that the departing actor has a bright future ahead of him in both acting and music (under the name Eclipse). “I love Chandler. He’s very talented, and he’s very driven, and he’s going to do great.” Riggs may do great without the show, but the question now becomes: How will the show do without Riggs?

[From EW]

Reedus has previously parroted the producers’ statements on controversial plot devices so this is new from him. We just learned that showrunner Scott M. Gimple was replaced by a longterm writer for the show, a woman named Angela Kang. I’ve never heard the term “glass cliff” before, but commenter QueenB mentioned it and it’s the phenomenon where a woman is more likely to be promoted “during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest.” I think that definitely applies here, given that the show’s ratings are down and that even the key players are upset with Carl’s death. Plus Gimple was promoted to head of the entire franchise! Maybe Kang can turn TWD around, or maybe she’ll take the blame. Regardless Reedus isn’t wrong, Carl’s death may be the death of this show, at least to the viewers.


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photos credit: WENN and Instagram/Norman Reedus, EW and Chandler Riggs

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30 Responses to “Norman Reedus ‘desperately unhappy’ about character’s fate on Walking Dead”

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  1. rocky says:

    I’ve stuck with the show since the beginning but I just can’t tune into watch Carl die.

    • V4Real says:

      I actually don’t like Carl but that’s a death that shouldn’t have happened.

      I also think they should put an end to the show soon. End it after the defeat of Alpha. I sure don’t want to see the storyline where Shelly takes over as the leader of the Saviors.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Carl is annoying – like most teenagers. But he was a fundamental part of the cast and show and I never would have expected or wanted them to kill him off. The whole point of Rick and who HE is as character gets thrown in the air when you kill off his kid. His entire reason for everything he’s done was for Carl and Judith. He was supposed to hand the baton over to Carl and let him lead. I will tune in but I dont know for how long. This really seems like TWD’s “jump the shark” moment.

  2. Vaya says:

    I thought Carl would be the last man standing too, like a new John Connor. Glad I stopped watching the show. Sounds like it’s pissing off more people than ever.

    • Arpeggi says:

      That’s how it is in the comics, I remember Kirkman saying a few years ago that Carl was pretty much the only character that was “safe”. He becomes even more important once Neagan is “tamed”… I can see it as a way to try to break away from the comics even more, but I don’t understand what it brings to the storyline. Rick lives only for Carl; there’s no reason to fight if there is no generation to take over once the fighting is done

  3. Lucy says:

    i agree with him 100%. I also really appreciate that he stands by Chandler, and his not so subtle way of telling the writers of the show to p*ss off.

  4. Tanesha86 says:

    OMG the title of this story made me think Darryl was being killed off, almost had a heart attack. I’ve never been a fan of Carl tbh so I’m not torn up about his death 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • Nancy says:

      Haha! Me too! I got scared. People are ruff on Norman’s appearance on this site, but I adore him. Daryl has made some stupid choices lately says my husband, and I remind him, he’s only reading his script. I don’t like Chandler being killed off, but leave Daryl alone please. The real issue is the comic book where Carl’s character is so strong and this changes everything. Either you’re a fan of the show or the cb, because now they can never match up.

      • delphi says:

        Hahaha, I just remembered the shirts I saw TWD fans sporting at a con in Louisville a few years back when the show was super new and all the rage. They had a full panel (including Mr. Reedus, whom I adore), and the shirts read “If Daryl Dies, We Riot”.

    • Rachel says:

      Actually, while he may very well be sincere in his feelings for Chandler, I felt his statements were very self-serving. I think this was a blow to everyone, especially, the few remaining original cast members. First Glenn and now Carl. It really pushes home that no one is safe, and I think Norman’s words were intended as a warning to the powers that be on TWD. Leave Darryl alone.

  5. There will be a lot of ugly crying in my family. We *just* got the 13 year old to stop sleeping in her Glenn t-shirt.

  6. Leigh says:

    I stopped watching a couple of seasons ago, but really, fans upset over Carl dying? I’ve never liked the kid, and thought it was pretty universal that others don’t either.

    • Christine says:

      Right? I don’t know anyone who liked Carl. I feel each season has an unique annoying character tied to it but Carl has been a constant for me. I haven’t liked him since season two when he wouldn’t STAY IN THE DAMN HOUSE. I’m still watching the show, although I had zero motivation to continue watching it this season but my husband talked me into it. The show, if anything, is failing because the storylines go nowhere and it’s boring. They drag it out and half the season is just filler episodes. THAT is what has ruined the show, not killing off characters. I’ll admit Glenn was upsetting for me, but I don’t feel he got near the outrage as when Beth was killed off? People went off the rails and who TF cared about Beth?! If that was the case, where’s all the hate for GoT? I say good riddance Carl!

      • Nello says:

        You are so right! The writing and pacing of the snow is very off. While I disagree with the decision to kill Carl, the show has far bigger issues. Hopefully Angela Kang can salvage it. TWD had potential to be on for !many more seasons but Gimple has nearly destroyed it.

  7. Rice says:

    I no longer watch this shitfest, but I wish that all of the main characters decide to jump ship, en masse.

  8. Frosty says:

    I read in passing that Gimple takes pride in pulling the old switcheroo on viewers. So was he the one who decided to psych us out with Glen under the dumpster? There have been a lot of corny, tv beats the last couple of seasons especially, so I’m going to pin that on ol’ Gimple.

  9. klc says:

    In my imaginary world they are keeping Gimple in name only, because god knows we can’t fire a man for doing a terrible job.

    What is going to be Rick’s motivation when Carl is gone? He has no where the same bond with Judith as he does with Carl.

    Let’s be honest surviving in that world is a real pain in the butt, I don’t think I would go too much trouble to survive if my kid was killed, what would be the point?

  10. Lesley says:

    I don’t buy Carl’s death, anyway. It’ll turn out that one of The Whisperers bit him, not a walker. They never actually showed it happen. Just like a few seasons ago when they left us with a cliffhanger that Glenn had been chewed up after falling off that dumpster. I call bullshit. This is all hype.

  11. susiecue says:

    I can’t even come up with an intelligent comment because THAT HAIR TAKES ME TO THE BRINK OF INSANITY, AAAUUUGGGHH

  12. Pandy says:

    I don’t really care about Carl’s death TBH … but I’m heartily sick of the Negan storyline. I’m running out of interest a little bit this year.

  13. Sparkly says:

    I’ve been a die-hard fan from the beginning, but I’ve lost interest in both the show and the comics. They don’t know how to do proper pacing and drag out every villian’s storyline for way too freaking long. I DID like who Carl had become, and I probably won’t watch anymore if they actually kill him off. I already only watched about half the episodes this season. It’s just not gripping anymore, and Gimple has run it into the ground. Now he’s in charge of Fear too? No. Gimple is the true scourge of TWD.

  14. Kim says:

    AMC is trying very hard to push the idea that Scott Gimple has been “promoted” to a different position that actually gives him greater control over both TWD and FTWD. I’m not really buying that but no matter how they spin it, the fact remains that Gimple made a huge blunder and everyone’s doubtful if the show can recover from it. I am hopeful that Angela Kang will come in and do an awesome job – she has actually written a number of episodes that were my faves and she’s clearly being brought in to do damage control.