Walking Dead fans have watched as Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) has grown from being a troublesome kid who won’t stay in the house to a responsible, tough-as-nails hardass that would have made last season’s Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) proud. He’s gotten about a foot taller, he’s let his hair grow out (although he still wears that sheriff’s hat – I can’t imagine what it smells like now) and he’s down to one eyeball. He’s taken it upon himself to take on the bat-swinging bastard that broke his father like a cheap Dollar Tree toy. Carl has even had his first kiss. He’s becoming the man his father always hoped he would become.
Along with his character on the show, Chandler is also growing up behind the scenes. This spring, he’ll graduate high school – despite the erratic filming schedule of The Walking Dead – and plans to continue his education. How do we know this? He sent out this tweet:
ayy i just got accepted into auburn
— chandler riggs (@chandlerriggs) November 7, 2016
Now you might be thinking, “This proves nothing! Alabama’s Auburn University is only about a ninety minutes drive from Atlanta! He’ll commute, of course.” Even if he were to make the drive to and from The Walking Dead set, it would be pretty tough to arrange both filming and class schedules. But still, it’s definitely possible. But then you see this Facebook post from Chandler’s dad, which was quickly deleted:
“7 year contract completed! Grateful to AMC, Cast & Crew, TWD fan base and especially Chandler for always being 100% dedicated. Whether it was getting up at 4AM, working in the freezing cold past 2AM, leaving his friends and carefree kiddom behind, scrambling to make up missed schoolwork, he has done it without complaint and always made me proud & amazed to be his dad!”
He sounds pretty excited for his son’s contract to be up. Why, unless Chandler wasn’t renewing it? Sure, maybe he’s just proud of his son for completing a seven year deal. But then you see the hashtags on dad’s Instagram photo:
#freedom? Oh, man…
Sure, they could cut Carl’s storyline back until he finishes school. He could follow the Enid storyline and take off with her on some adventure that she seems determined to go on. He could get kidnapped by Negan and held hostage for a few seasons. The show could then just continue on with him off screen, like when a character leaves to have a baby or film another project. Or they could outright kill him off. This would change the entire dynamic of the show and send the characters (especially Rick) off into emotional parts unknown, leaving the comic book storyline in the dust. Or, much to the chagrin of Chandler Riggs fan everywhere, hire another actor to play Carl. For some reason, this one hurts the most.
What do you guys think? Is this a sign the Carl Grimes will be gone for good?