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Will Carl Survive Season 4 of “The Walking Dead”?

The Walking Dead Carl Grimes

The return of “The Walking Dead” seems slower than a walker shuffling down the street with its shoelaces tied together (a great way to slow them down). Luckily, all the season 4.5 speculation is giving fans a little fix while they try to deal with walker withdrawal.

There are definitely some interesting theories and rumors floating around, but one of the most shocking claims comes from Comicbook.com. The site reports that “one of the main cast members who has not been killed in the comic book series will die during Season 4.”

If you’re catching up on the comic books, be forewarned that spoilers lay ahead.

The four main characters who are still alive in the comic book series are Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).

It’s hard to imagine Michonne being killed off because she’s been on the show for such a short amount of time and fans haven’t learned enough about her or witnessed enough of her badassery yet. It would also be crazy to kill off Rick because he’s the main character. This leaves Maggie and Carl as the most likely causalities, and there are few signs that point to the young boy.

The teaser poster for season 4.5 features a photo of Rick and Carl walking down train tracks. Rick is in front of Carl, and the poster reads, “Don’t look back.” Could the poster be telling Rick not to dwell on the loss of his son?

Because Carl is behind Rick and closer to the camera, he takes up the most space on the poster. This could indicate that he’s going to get a lot of screentime when “The Walking Dead” returns, and you know what happens on the show when characters suddenly get a lot more lines (R.I.P., Hershel).

According to TV Line, Andrew Lincoln revealed that episode nine (the midseason premiere) is going to be very Carl-centric. “Episode 9 is his episode. It’s so cool,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln also gushed about Chandler Riggs’ big moment to Comicbook.com.

“Just wait, all I will say is just wait for what this kid [Chandler Riggs] is going to do this season,” Lincoln said. “He I think has done one of the best episodes certainly this season, and he kind of carries it. It’s beautiful what he’s done.”

We know that Rick is in pretty bad shape after getting beat up by the Governor, so maybe episode nine should be titled “Carl’s in Charge.” Writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman revealed that the ep will almost be a direct adaptation of the comic book, so perhaps Lincoln was hinting that Carl will up his cool factor by racking up a few more walker kills while he tries to keep his dad from dying. But how long can Carl survive without his Rick’s help?

During an interview with Yahoo! TV, Lincoln said that something big is going to happen during the second half of the season.

“There are two episodes that I absolutely adore in the back eight, one of which I think is going to be the most controversial episode that we’ve probably ever been involved in, and that’s saying something,” he said.

It’s possible that he was talking about Carl getting killed. Kid characters have certainly been killed off on TV, but perhaps the way Carl gets killed will be what causes controversy. Imagine Rick “putting him down” after he gets bitten. We’ve also seen that the walkers aren’t the only deadly threats in this strange new world; there are plenty of other horrible ways Carl could die. And we haven’t been introduced to the crew of cannibals from the comic books yet.

However, there are also plenty of other controversial things that could happen besides Carl’s death. Maggie Greene unsuccessfully attempts suicide by hanging herself in the comic books. She might succeed on the TV series, making her the main character who gets killed off. Because so much of the show has been focused on the relationship between Carl and Rick, she might actually be the character who is most at risk.

The controversy could also have something to do with twisted little Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino). She’s most likely with Tyreese (Chad Coleman), so will he kill the girl when he finds out that a popular fan theory is true? There’s been some speculation that she’s really the one who killed his girlfriend and that Carol just took the blame to protect her. Or maybe Lizzie is a stand-in for comic book character Ben. If this is the case, then Carl might shoot Lizzie after she murders her sister Mika (Kyla Kennedy). This would definitely be a controversial storyline.

What do you think is in store for Carl Grimes? 

“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. EST.

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Treva Bowdoin is a freelance writer who loves crazy comedies and creepy shows like "The Walking Dead" and "American Horror Story".

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