The Walking Dead‘s recent midseason finale featured one of the zombie drama’s most shocking moments ever, as Carl Grimes was revealed to have been bitten by a walker, meaning his time on the show will surely come to end when TWD returns.
With Chandler Riggs’ character having been part of The Walking Dead since the very beginning, it’s hard to imagine just how much his death will affect the other survivors that have known him the longest. This is especially true of Rick Grimes, as played by Andrew Lincoln, who we’ve seen risk everything to protect his son over the past eight seasons.
While talking with Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln opened up about what it will be like for Rick to say goodbye to Carl. In regards to the midseason premiere, the actor said it made a “beautiful” change for the cast to be allowed to get “some sense of catharsis” over a death. After all, usually characters are offed on this show without any ceremony.
“The beautiful thing is it’s what we rarely do in our show — we actually give the opportunity for a goodbye. It was unusual in that regard. Usually, things happen and people are ripped from you in this world that we inhabit. Thankfully, there was some sense of catharsis on this one, because we got to leave it all out on the screen. I thought Chandler did a remarkable job, as he always has done, but particularly in this episode.”
Lincoln then went on to tease how Rick will deal with the enormous hit of losing his son. The star explained that his character will be forced to balance the scales of his life to come to terms with it. Apparently, it will all tie back into a memorable phrase we saw Rick repeat during a strange scene in the season premiere: “My mercy prevails over my wrath.”
“It goes back to the flash-forward where my mercy prevails over my wrath. There is a balancing of the scales in Rick’s life that happens in the back eight episodes. A lot of it is because of what is said in episode 9, by his son.”
The midseason premiere has been described as “a sad farewell” by Lincoln, something that has been echoed by producer Greg Nicotero as well, who revealed how the episode reduced him to tears. In honour of Carl’s exit, the special installment will be extended, coming it at a full 12 minutes longer than normal. And though he won’t be a part of the series moving forward, Chandler Riggs believes his character will cast a long legacy over TWD‘s future.
The Walking Dead will return to AMC with a hugely significant episode on February 25th.