The Walking Dead: A look back and a look at what’s next for the survivors

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /
15 of 19
The Walking Dead;AMC;Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
The Walking Dead;AMC;Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes /

Carl Grimes

Carl has had one of the most dramatic arcs on the show. He’s grown up in the brutal apocalypse world. He had to kill his mother. He lost his eye and almost lost a hand. And he’s gone from a sweet little boy to a pragmatic and capable killer. He also has the makings of a great leader. In some ways he could even be a greater leader than Rick. It’s doubtful that he would have made some of the mistakes that Rick has made.

When Negan was about to force Rick to chop off Carl’s hand Carl told him to do it, in order to save everyone else. The horrors that he has seen and endured have shape him into a person that is colder in some ways than Rick is. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Carl is the one left standing when The Walking Dead eventually comes to an end.

But the first 100 episodes of the show were really just the beginning of the journey for Carl. Now as he becomes an adult he’s going to have to make tougher decisions and come to his own conclusions about morality and other big issues. And he may not always agree with Rick’s dedication to humanity. He may find that he agrees with Negan on some of those big issues. Chandler Riggs has these hopes for Carl as his journey progresses:

"“After All-Out War in the comics there’s a time jump and Carl and Negan have this really cool relationship, and if we ever get to that point in the show, that would be a lot of fun to explore. And the whole dynamic with the Whisperers, that’d be really cool. And in the more recent comics, Carl faced a lot of the people from the Hilltop, from it burning down, which is really, really cool. So I think literally, everything that Carl does in the comics, I am really excited for it.”"

The Walking Dead;AMC;Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
The Walking Dead;AMC;Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier /


Carol has transformed herself time and time again. She is the ultimate survivor because no matter what situations are thrown at her she handles them all. But her journey has been a terrible and painful one. From the scared and beaten down housewife and mother that she was in season 1 she’s become one of the strongest fighters on the show.

Those transitions have enable her to survive, but she’s paid a high cost for that survival. In season 6 she left the group because she couldn’t face the killer she’d become. And she couldn’t bear the thought of losing any more of the people she loves so much. She was afraid that if something happened to Maggie and the baby, or any of the survivors that she’s been on this journey with, that she’d cross the line and become such a cold killer that she’d never regain her humanity.

So she left Alexandria and ended up at The Kingdom. She was happy to remain alone on the outskirts of The Kingdom and try to distance herself from her loved ones in order to hang onto herself. But when Morgan told her that Negan killed Glenn and Abe she knew that she couldn’t just sit by. And now Carol has again transformed into a pragmatic warrior who will do whatever it takes to get justice for Glenn. And Abe.

After the war is over the future is uncertain for Carol. But when asked what she would like to see happen for Carol in the future Melissa McBride gave a typically pragmatic answer: She wants to know what caused this apocalypse and if anything is being done to fix it. She said:

"“I would also love to have a sit-down conversation with one of the characters about how utterly bizarre our life has become. Oh, and the other thing is I would like to hear: What is this virus? What’s going on with that? What is this thing? Is there any end in sight? Is anybody looking into that somewhere in the world? How far has this gone?”"

"Next: Maggie"