The Walking Dead, a show as reliant on character deaths for drama as it is for zombies, is not above giving the audience a little tease. And according to Robert Kirkman, a big tease isn't out of the question, either.
Kirkman, who writes The Walking Dead comic as well as working as a producer on the TV adaptation, talked to fans at a panel recently and suggested the possibility that Carl, who got bit by a zombie recently, might not be quite as dead as he appears.
"He's not dead yet," Kirkman said, according to ComicBook.com. "He might not die. You never know. But I think if, were that to happen, I think it would have some interesting ramifications on Rick, that I think would energize and really kind of set things in motion in a really interesting way leading to the resolution of All Out War in a way that will make for a very exciting back half to season 8, so I think it's going to be really cool."
There are two ways to take this comment. As a means of placing doubt in the minds of his audience, just in case the show does end up pulling some wacky plot maneuvers to somehow keep Carl Grimes alive. Or, this is just plausible deniability, and that boy is as good as dead.
Kirkman also talked about whether or not Carl's death would impact further adaptation from the comics. He's not worried. "I think there's a lot of great stuff from the comic that will be adapted into the show in season 9 or beyond," he said. "Comic book fans might be excited about the possibility of the Whisperers showing up in the show. I'm not confirming that, but I definitely would not rule it out."
It seems uncertainty is the name of the game. We'll start getting some answers on February 25, when The Walking Dead returns from mid-season hiatus to begin concluding its eighth season.