But the actor's family were even more surprised with the move, and in a lengthy Facebook post, Chandler Riggs' father William has claimed that the show's bosses did not handle the situation as well as he would have liked.
The post reads: "Just to clarify once and for all: Chandler didn’t want to leave the show. He had been accepted at [University of Georgia in Atlanta], and would complete school while working.
"Scott Gimple personally called him and said on a conference call in April that they needed him for 3 years. Chandler agreed to a 2 year contract, which was typical. 1 year guaranteed and the next one at their option, which was also typical.
"He signed the deal, graduated from high school and went back to work. He bought a house near the set and enrolled at UGA.
"It was the middle of June, his 18th birthday was coming up in a couple of weeks, 5 episodes were filmed, and they asked for my wife and I to both be at a meeting with Chandler – which was a little odd. It made me nervous but he and his manager assured me it was to plan for filming schedule, etc.
"Scott Gimple was the only one there and he told us that Carl would be gone in a few episodes. Chandler was absolutely devastated. I was disappointed Scott had been dishonest with a 17-year-old making life decisions and waited to tell us."
Despite the way Chandler's time on the show ended, William says that he is still "extremely grateful for the opportunity and 8 great years" but adds: "As a parent I felt Chandler had earned better treatment, but that’s the biz. Unkind timing."
Gimple has previously described the decision to kill off Chandler's character as "a critical aspect of the season", while The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman also defended Carl's death in the TV series.
Recently, Chandler Riggs said that after about a year of unemployment he is working on the first season of a brand new show.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US and on FOX in the UK. You can also catch up on the show via NOW TV.
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