The Walking Dead season 8: Is it about to take one too many deviations from the comics?

The Walking Dead season 8 is back for its second half and there’s really only one thing on fans’ minds. Is this really goodbye to Carl Grimes? But if speculation is true, The Walking Dead might shed a few more central characters before season 8 ends.

Farewell to Carl

If it really is ‘adios’ to Rick’s beloved son Carl, then this will be the biggest deviation the showrunners have ever taken from the source comics. On the other hand, if Carl miraculously survives somehow, then everything will be well again. We can all have a laugh about it tomorrow. Those that have read the comics can rest easy that the showrunners have not completely lost their minds.

The problem is, it’s definitely looking likely that Carl will die, and that this will be Chandler Riggs’ exit from the show. The rumours are that AMC may not have wanted to fork out more money for the actor as he was turning 18.

If this is true, then AMC are putting profit over comic readers’ desire to see the show play out in a similar way to the comics. This is about to land them in a lot of hot water. They are willing to kill off characters even if their roles in the future of the comics are central and fundamental.

Andrea was a much earlier casualty of this. Carl is the latest. But if AMC isn’t able to negotiate better contacts with some of the stars, then there may be a lot of pivotal deviations from the comics to come.


Not Maggie too?

Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie has signed on to a new ABC pilot and has not renewed her contract for season 9. Negotiations over her pay have meant that the actress has looked elsewhere for new opportunities. Whether this is an attempt to get AMC to cough up more, or whether Cohan is really trying to break out and move on, remains to be seen.

Maggie is an absolutely irreplaceable part of the story going forward. The loss of this character would be a massive deviation from the comics, and not a wise one.


Surely Michonne is safe though?

Further concerns are over the future of Danai Gurira who plays Michonne  on the show. She’s just been in Marvel’s huge hit Black Panther. Doors will undoubtedly be opening for her all over Hollywood. Again, Michonne cannot be lost from The Walking Dead. Not without seriously shaking up future storylines from the comics and undermining so much of what the fans love about this show.

If AMC still wants to reach for 12 seasons of The Walking Dead, they are going to have make better deals to keep their stars in place. Or, the other option is to continue to deviate from the comics and hope that the fans stay with you. That way they can kill off key characters at will, no matter how important they are in the comics.

Away from adaptation

Maybe the answer is for comics readers to stop thinking about the show as an adaptation. The stars are making themselves too expensive, or they are just getting bored of playing the same character for so many years. Either way, expect Carl’s imminent death to be just another example of the many more frustrating deviations from the comic storylines to come.

Do you mind if the show deviates from the comics? Or would you prefer a more faithful adaptation?

Read more:

‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner hears you: ‘We are coming to a conclusion in setting the stage for yes, a new era’

The Walking Dead recap of the Season 8 midseason finale