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Can The Walking Dead Handle The Loss Of Both Carl And Maggie Next Season

Updated on February 21, 2018
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Jennifer Branton is a nerd by trade most often writing about books and video games. She has a BA in Journalism from Lewis University

A Losing Battle On Raise From AMC

As ratings continue to plummet just days before the second half of The Walking Dead Season 8 return, Media is reporting that actress Lauren Cohan, still has not signed contracts for Season 9 of the show after renegotiating her contract with the series, stating that she is not making the close to same pay as some of the male leads on the show.

The actress who has played Maggie since season two of the series, started as an background character that gained a little more screen time since gradually by the end of the Farm Arc and beginning of the Prison Arc of the plot line. Maggie, the lone survivor now of her family, becomes one of the most important characters after the All Out War Arc and becomes the leader at the Hilltop, but with Season 9 filming this summer, it really calls into question the focus of the show.

The Walking Dead, which has recently lost their show-runner, Scott Gimple, often blamed for some of the worst episodes and recent decline of the the show's ratings, will also be losing the Carl character as well, who also went on to have much greater importance in the comics; but as we all know from the AMC onscreen depiction, and the written page, there are very recognizable changes made.


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Since Season Two, Maggie has been a mainstay on the show, slowly gaining more importance after the death of her father and sister in previous seasons, and the tragic loss of husband, Glenn. It is these events that should propel Maggie to serve her purpose at the leader of Hilltop like in the comics, but losing Maggie now, might really throw a lot of the future of the show into question.

Whiskey Cavalier

Taking on a leading role on the upcoming series Whiskey Cavalier, Cohan faces two possible outcomes- that the filming of the series don't conflict and that she is still able to do both, as she has been able to work on various film roles which staring on the show- or as sites like Comics.com report, The Walking Dead allegedly doesn't allow for their main actors to take other leading roles that may may overlap with their time on the show, so this could be the sign that Lauren Cohan is leaving for sure.

Described as a show about a CIA operative, Cohan is said to be playing a character named Francesca "Frankie" Trowbridge opposite Scott Foley, playing an FBI agent, Will Chase.



Whiskey Cavalier, with Cohan in a leading role will begin to film in its pilot in 2018.

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The Walking Dead is also losing star Chandler Riggs at the end of Season 8, leaving a big hole in the cast, and many wondering how the show will patch in the story left by the loss of both Carl and Maggie going into The Whisperers Arc.

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Carl Is Dead, And Maggie Is...

In a very public squaring off between the father of star Chandler Riggs, whom has played Carl since he was six years old, the character seems to be dying from a zombie bite in the last moments of the cliffhanger of the Season 8 mid-season finale. All the trailers also point to Riggs, who was known to be going off to college and looking to pursue other interests including music, but it was the father of Riggs that slammed the show saying that they were promised that Riggs would be on the show for several more years, though that didn't seem to likely with his studies and taking into the account that the Carl of the television series was aging out of the part faster than the comic book character who still had much more to do. Again, though, AMC has many times stated that the events of the comics are not the same direction they are taking with the TV series, and many times characters become composites and take on other story of characters already killed off, changed, or never written onto the show. Going into The Whisperers without Carl though, seems be big leap to be taking.

Even more odd is the fact that an unknown amount of time has passed since the death of Glenn and Abraham, as the Negan story is moving into almost a third season so why haven't we seen Maggie actually "showing" as she was expecting Glenn's child? Those that may have wanted to forget the events taking place after Glenn's grizzly death, Maggie was actually kept at Hilltop because they had a gynecologist that could safely monitor the pregnancy. Still no baby bump though. Is this because Cohan has been holding out on signing for Season 9?

Was it already too difficult to write around all the children already in the story? With the addition of Gracie, and Judith, who has already been played by a plethora of child actresses as she keeps aging out of the part is only a prop that someone occasionally holds to remind them that she is still on the show when in the comic she died back with Lori at the prison.

Could not showing progress in the Maggie pregnancy be to make it easier to lose the actress if she leaves the show? Who then will go on to lead Hilltop?

With allies Enid and Jesus, at Maggie's side, there has been a pretty support for what looks like taking in every other group in the new trailers and safety in numbers makes it much easier to defend, but it really leaves the whole idea of having the Season 9 centered around Hilltop questionable without a good leader in place.

The problem The Walking Dead has had for seasons is no clear direction of where it was trying to go, wasting entire episodes on solo adventures of characters like Tara; leading to one of the lowest rated episodes of all time. Even the biggest characters like Michonne and Daryl haven't had much to do other than bookend Rick in group shots the last few seasons.

The show has lost its flair and maybe a new show-runner in Angela Kang will breathe new life into Season 9, but it looks like losing two main characters that actually had things to do in the next season is going to setting the series up for the worst season ever and maybe eventual cancellation if The Walking Dead can't start gaining back the fan base it has lost.


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