[Spoilers for the midseason finale of The Walking Dead follow, read at your own risk!]
With the death, or impending death, of Carl (Chandler Riggs) in the midseason finale, The Walking Dead officially broke from the comics harder than it ever did before, and that means all bets are off. Carl was thought to be untouchable and his character was very much alive in the comic, but soon he'll be another corpse in the zombie apocalypse. We can't predict anything in this show anymore.
Or can we? Yes, of course we have predictions for the back half of Season 8! Three, in fact.
1. Carl's story isn't done! He won't be part of that big post-war arc he has in the comics, but Carl will have a huge impact on the show going forward. When The Walking Dead returns, Carl will be the one to show Rick (Andrew Lincoln) the meaning of mercy, which will have huge ramifications on the end of the war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
2. Rick might die! Yes, he really might, possibly! Now that Carl is on death's door, anyone is fair game, and Rick expiring would be just the punch in the mouth the show needs to prove that it once again is the king of slaughter. Andrew Lincoln's contract with the show is up at the end of the season, and in those flashforwards from the series premiere, we definitely saw a ragged Rick which could be a new take on a famous sequence from the comics, one in which Rick is saved by Dwight (Austin Amelio) while the latter is still undercover in Negan's camp. The problem now? Dwight's double-crossing is no longer a secret.
3. All-Out War will wrap up. Negan and Rick have been going at it for a while now, but that will end with the conclusion of Season 8. The big question is what will happen next. With Carl out of the picture and the comics no longer reliable to predict the show's future, your guess is as good as ours.
The Walking Dead returns Feb. 25 on AMC.