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It’s the end of an era on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

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Fans witnessed the untimely demise of original character and fan-favorite Carl Grimes in “Honor”, marking the season 8B premiere as one fans will never forget. Many viewers were counting down the days until his death since it was revealed in the last episode of season 8A.

After the reveal that Carl would be killed off the hit show- despite his character still being alive and well in the comics- many fans sparked backlash on Twitter and stated that they would no longer watch the show, claiming that showrunner Scott Gimple was taking the series in the wrong direction. Producers took fans’ opinions in mind- they named a new showrunner, Angela Kang, to replace Gimple for season nine; however, Gimple was still promoted. They might have had a point- according to Variety.com, the mid season premiere is the lowest rated mid season premiere in the show’s history, but only slightly higher than season 8A’s finale, which revealed that Carl was bit by walkers- a pathetic way to go considering Carl has survived much worse in past seasons. Mid season premiere ratings have been steadily decreasing since season four.

This isn’t the first time “The Walking Dead” has faced major backlash from fans. In the season seven premiere, fan-favorite and original character Glenn Rhee was brutally murdered, with many fans claiming that the scene was too graphic. Gimple defended the decision to kill Rhee off because he was following the storyline in the comic books written by Robert Kirkman.

Gimple, however, doesn’t have much of an excuse this time around. Many fans and even the show’s stars were not expecting young Carl, who is portrayed by Chandler Riggs, to be killed off, for it’s a major deviation from the comic books’ plot. Further conversation began when Riggs’ father posted on Facebook claiming that Gimple fired his son right before his eighteenth birthday; many fans took this to mean that Gimple didn’t want to pay Riggs an adult salary. Although this is unconfirmed, it’s harder to defend Gimple’s actions because his excuse from last season isn’t applicable in Riggs’ departure from the show.

With views and ratings dropping, it’s safe to say that “The Walking Dead” will continue to lose views and fans, especially if the showrunner and producers stray too far from the comics. And with reports stating that Lauren Cohan, whose character has been a regular since season two, hasn’t agreed on a new salary for season nine and has reportedly signed to appear in a pilot for a new TV show, it sounds like the show might have to kill off yet another character that still lives on in the comics. It’s sad to say that such an emotional and adventurous TV series might face its death sooner rather than later.

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It’s the end of an era on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”