Before Carl Grimes’s shocking death in The Walking Dead, he wrote a bunch of letters to the people around him knowing that he was about to depart the land of the living. He wrote to his dad, Rick, as well as Negan and Michonne – who became a surrogate mum to Carl after his own mother died giving birth to his sister Judith, and whom he had to shoot in the head.
In episode 14 of Season 8, Michonne read her letter from Carl – but we didn’t actually ever discover precisely what that missive said. At San Diego Comic-Con, however, actress Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, revealed its contents during a Walking Dead press conference. And rather than the show’s writers taking on the task of putting Carl’s thoughts down on paper, it was she who had a personal hand in shaping them.
“I had actually written what I believed he would have written me,” she said. “So I was reading his words. That I wrote.”
Gurira choked up a little as she explained further. She said: “It feels personal to share, I don’t know why. But some of the things you hear him saying to her in those final moments are more elaborated upon, [about] strength and remembering the moments he had with her that can keep him alive for her. There are moments that he mentions in the letter, you know, like the moment of walking up to Terminus together and re-finding each other; the things he feels she’s done for his dad and how he needs her to be there for his dad in various ways. So there are a whole lot of things in there that really fuel her ability to confront [Rick] and really want him to make that connection [to life] again.”
She added that the letter also includes words about “needing us both to have the same vision for how we step into the next phase, to be alive and [for] the choices we start to make.”
She concluded: “So I think there were a million things paralleled in both [Michonne’s and Rick’s] letters that allowed us to come to the same place.”
Will Carl’s Words Resonate in Season 9?
Season 9 will pick up two years after the conclusion of ‘All Out War’, mirroring the time jump in the comic books and giving viewers a chance to see how far the group has implemented Carl’s wishes. We join Rick and the rest of the characters as the world continues to decay and the infrastructure starts to break down, which means the survivors must live in a more primitive way, without guns and cars.
At Comic-Con, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, spoke out about his decision to leave The Walking Dead, saying he wanted to take a break to spend some time with his family. We are yet to find out how Rick Grimes will leave the show, but Lincoln has shot his final scenes and will take his leave in Season 9.
The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres on October 7.