After the bloodbath of The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere, things have calmed down somewhat on the show — or at least Negan has been too busy posturing and monologuing to kill again, though he was able to fit a little face-ironing into his busy schedule. But in the promo for the finale, "Hearts Still Beating," it looks like Negan may be up to old tricks as he struts around Alexandria, bloody and with Lucille in hand. That, combined with a recent announcement that Chandler Riggs will be off to college soon, has fans worried about Carl's fate. Could he be Negan's next victim? Is Chandler Riggs leaving The Walking Dead?
Two things have fans concerned about what's happening with Carl. One was an announcement from Riggs' father on Facebook that celebrated the end of Riggs' seven year contract with the show without specifying whether or not his son would be renewing his contract. The second thing was a tweet from Riggs saying that he had had been accepted to Auburn, a college in Alabama. At first glance it certainly seemed like Riggs' time on the show might be coming to an end, but let's not jump to conclusions quite yet. There has been no official announcement that he's going anywhere.
His mother was also quick to say that the announcement of his contract ending didn't necessarily mean he wouldn't be back. In the comment section of an Instagram post, Gina-Ann Riggs told a fan, "Don't over analyze. His seven year contract is up. That's all [his father William] was saying, nothing else. Pretty big accomplishment for a child actor (and for the parent who had to quit his job for this child to be able to follow his dream)." Other actors on the show like Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus recently renegotiated their contracts, so Riggs may simply be doing the same.
As for Riggs potentially attending Auburn University, that may not pose a problem either. The school is less than two hours from Atlanta, where the show films, so with some creative scheduling he could feasibly balance both. Plenty of college students work, after all, even if their jobs aren't half as exciting. Riggs himself said it would be possible during an interview with Us Weekly, and that figuring out the balance between the show and school was something he was interested in doing. "Theoretically, I could take one or two classes on campus and maybe an online class," he said. "It wouldn't be easy, but I think that could be possible."
It also doesn't seem like Carl is going to get on Negan's bad side anytime soon. If he's still alive after killing two of Negan's men, it seems fair to say that Negan's fascination with Carl will allow him to live for a while longer. Their strange quasi-friendship in the comics spans years, and generally, Carl's development as a child growing up in the zombie apocalypse is hugely important to the story. If Carl does die, it would be shocking because his story isn't finished. That doesn't mean it won't happen, but Carl feels like too significant of a character to say goodbye to just yet.