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Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs on Carl, College and Whether He’s Leaving the Show

Between the hungry zombies, the occasional death flu and the crazed, bat-wielding murderer who likes to bash people’s heads in for no particular reason at all, it’s pretty much par for the course to worry about which of our favorite Walking Dead characters might be destined for death in a given season.

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But this season, one guy is definitely leading the death pool, to the point where it was a genuine shocker when he survived the latest episode on Sunday, December 4. That’s when Carl (Chandler Riggs) infiltrated the sanctuary of the villainous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on what seemed like a sure suicide mission — a development that came right on the heels of some compelling evidence that the 17 year-old Riggs may be leaving The Walking Dead in search of higher education. Is Carl destined to bite the dust before season 7 is out? In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Riggs suggested that we shouldn’t be too quick to assume anything.

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“You never know how it will go,” Riggs said, when asked how his college plans might impact his future as Carl. “I really do hope it works out because that would be really cool. I like to be in The Walking Dead, and I like to play video games and just hang out with my friends and try to be as normal as possible, so going to college would be another really cool, normal experience in my life.”

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But the actor has clearly done his research when it comes to having it both ways, and given a little cooperation from his professors, he said it’s doable: “Theoretically, I could take one or two classes on campus and maybe an online class.… It wouldn’t be easy, but I think that could be possible.” (And when asked if that was something he’s trying to do, the answer was a simple, “Yes.”)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Negan The Walking Dead Chandler Riggs Carl
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan and Chandler Riggs (right) as Carl on ‘The Walking Dead.’

So, don’t write Carl off as a dead duck just yet. And while Riggs had to play coy on the question of whether he’s got a contract for season 8, he did reveal what’s in store for the upcoming midseason finale, in a vague and teasing sort of way.

“It goes out with a few bangs here and there, and there’s a lot of stuff from the comics, which is really cool,” he said.

And if one of those bangs happens to take the form of, say, a baseball bat to Carl’s head — not that we’re saying it will, but if! — then we can at least take comfort in Riggs’ assessment of how ready the remaining Alexandrites will be to take on this season’s big bad.

“Both Carl and Daryl have that information, and a few people in the group share that common goal [of killing Negan],” he said. “People are starting to rally on the side of wanting to fight, but you have to get everyone on that side, otherwise people are not going to be willing to sacrifice their own lives trying to kill this guy.”

Tell Us: Do you think Carl will live to see season 8?

The Walking Dead‘s midseason finale airs on AMC Sunday, December 11, at 9 p.m. ET.   

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