Carl Grimes Returned For A Walking Dead Series Finale Cameo That No One Spotted

If you thought you spotted a familiar face in the background of the finale of "The Walking Dead," you were right! Chandler Riggs, the actor who played Carl, the son of Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), had a cameo as an extra during a sequence at Hilltop in the series finale. He's not playing Carl, of course, who died via walker bite back in season 8, but is just another farmer helping create sustenance for the survivors of the apocalypse. Honestly, he's a little tricky to recognize given that he's grown up a bit and isn't wearing his trademark eyepatch, but it's still good to see Riggs is alive and well, even if his fictional counterpart wasn't so lucky. 

Riggs wasn't the only familiar face that showed up in the finale since fans actually got a glimpse of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) for the first time in years, but his appearance was a little more of a surprise, even for the people who make the show. In a group interview with Entertainment Weekly, the cast and crew shared the joys of having the prodigal son of "The Walking Dead" return, even if he's only in the background. 

Coral is back, sorta!

I stopped watching "The Walking Dead" around the time that they committed the unforgivable sin of messing up Glenn/Steven Yeun's beautiful face, but Carl was a huge part of the series that became one-half of one of its greatest legacies: the Coral! meme (pictured above). It was difficult watching a child character suffer in the world of the walkers, but the good news is that it looks like spending all of that time around people in zombie makeup as a kid didn't have too much ill effect on Chandler Riggs, who looks fit as a fiddle as a farmer in Hilltop in the finale. Apparently, Riggs was in town and wanted to stop by the set to say hello to some old friends. Showrunner Angela Kang enjoyed having him around and they needed some extras, so she and director Greg Nicotero gave him the go-ahead. Nicotero told EW:

"That was our last day of shooting and Chandler wanted to come visit, and I looked at him and I went, 'Hey, you. Take that, go stand in the back of that shot.' It wasn't planned. I don't even think we put wardrobe on him. I think he was just wearing whatever he wore when he came to set. We're just like, 'Throw him in the background.' I think we gave him a hat to disguise him a little bit."

I don't think the hat really disguises Riggs all that well given that he wore a hat as Carl more than he didn't, but hey, maybe it was reverse psychology or something. Besides, one former co-star was doing his best to make sure fans noticed. 

A fun day on set

Series star Norman Reedus was on-set for the finale and had a blast trying to hint that viewers should look a little more closely at the background As he told Entertainment Weekly:

"It was great. They're trying to hide him in the scene, and I kept trying to move my head like I'm looking at him to sort draw the audience's attention to, 'Hey, there's Chandler over there!' Which I don't think anybody really wanted me to do, but I thought it was funny so I kept trying to do it."

It's really not a surprise to hear that Reedus was cutting up on-set, as the performer is known among fans for being a bit of a goofball, and "The Walking Dead" fans should definitely check out the episode again to see if they can catch any of his little looks or head nods. Chandler Riggs had a great time hanging out with some of his former castmates and getting a chance to live the extra life for a little while. They gave him his hat, a hoe, and had him do "some hoeing in the ground" in the background. Lots of terrible things have happened on farms in "The Walking Dead," but at least this time, it was something kind of nice.