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The Walking Dead: Read Carl's Letters To Rick And Negan

Contains spoilers for The Walking Dead through season 8, and The Walking Dead comics on which the show is based

On the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead season 8, entitled "Worth," Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) returned from the grave to say a few final words. Well, not literally, of course. Rather, the episode revealed the full contents of Carl's letters to his father, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), and his enemy and oppressor, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), to the audience. 

Actor Riggs, who confirmed his exit from The Walking Dead back in December of 2017, read Carl's letter to Rick in a voiceover, accompanied by footage of Lincoln's Rick looking equal parts moved and mournful while reading his son's last statements at the Hilltop. Actress Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, Rick's partner and a sort of mother figure to Carl, relayed Carl's message to Negan via a radio call. 

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, included below are full transcripts of both of Carl's letters, first to his father and then to the ruthless leader of the Saviors. 

Carl's message to Rick reads as follows:

"I remember my eighth birthday at the KCC, with that giant cake and Aunt Evie showing up on leave, surprising all of us. I remember mom. I remember Codger. I remember school and going to the movies and Friday night pizza and cartoons and grandma and grandpa and church, the summer barbecues, and the kiddie pool you got me. I could've used that at the prison.

You told me about the walks we would take when I was 3. You holding my hand around the neighborhood, all the way to Ross' farm. I didn't know that I remembered them, but I do, because I see the sun and the corn and that cow that walked up to the fence and looked me in the eye. You told me about all that stuff, but it isn't just that stuff. It's how I felt. Holding your hand, I felt happy and special. I felt safe. 

I thought growing up was about getting a job and maybe a family — being an adult. But growing up is about making yourself and the people you love safe. As safe as you can, because things happen. They happened before. You were shot before things went bad. It kind of felt like things went bad because you were shot. I want to make you feel safe, Dad. I want you to feel like I felt when you held my hand. Just to feel that way for five minutes ... I'd give anything to make you feel that way now. 

I wanted to kill Negan. I wish I did. Maybe it would have been done. I don't think it's done now. You went out there again, but I don't think they surrendered. I don't think they will surrender. There are workers in there, Dad. They're just regular people: old people, young people, families. You don't want them to die, Dad. We're so close to starting everything over, and we have friends now. It's that bigger world you used to talk about: the Kingdom, the Hilltop. There's got to be more places, more people out there — a chance for everything to change and keep changing. Everyone giving everyone the opportunity to have a life, a real life. 

If they won't end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out. You have to find peace with Negan. You have to find a way forward somehow. We don't have to forget what happened, but you can make it so it doesn't happen again, and nobody has to live this way, that every life is worth something. Start everything over. Show everyone they can be safe again without killing, that it can feel safe again, that it can go back to being birthdays, schools, jobs, and even Friday night pizza somehow — and walks with a dad and a 3-year-old, holding hands. Make that come back, Dad. And go on those walks with Judith. She'll remember them.

I love you. – Carl"

Here's Carl's letter to Negan:


This is Carl. I was helping someone. I got bit. Didn't even have to be doing what we were doing. I was just helping someone, and now I'm gone. You might be gone. Maybe my Dad made your people give you up and he killed you, but I don't think so. I think you're still around. I think you're working on a way out. Maybe you got out. Maybe you think we're a lost cause and you just want to kill all of us. I think you think you have to be who you are. I just wonder if this is what you wanted. I wanted to ask you. I wish I could have. Maybe you'll beat us. If you do, there will just be someone else to fight. The way out is working together. It's forgiveness. It's believing that it doesn't have to be a fight anymore — because it doesn't. I hope my Dad offers you peace. I hope you take it. I hope everything can change. It did for me. Start over. You still can. — Carl"

Fans of The Walking Dead comics have a fairly good idea of how Carl's letters might shape what we next seen on screen in the series, but given that the show has deviated from the source material quite a lot, there really is no telling for certain what will happen in the season 8 finale. 

The Walking Dead will wrap up the All-Out War in the final episode of season 8, entitled "Wrath," on April 15.