After Carl's devastating death earlier this season, The Walking Dead might be prepping another young child of the apocalypse to fill some of the empty space left by his absence. Newcomer Henry isn't in The Walking Dead comics, but this original character is already making a splash among fans, and not everyone is on board. Henry is a resident of the Kingdom, and in recent episodes has been growing closer to Carol and Morgan and garnering more and more screen time as the season goes on. This boost in Henry's plot comes not long after Carl's death, and has some fans a little peeved about his presence.
"If Henry is Carl, then killing Carl is less meaningful if you replace him immediately," one Reddit user RabidChipmunk3 wrote in one thread — that particular thread is tagged for spoilers, so read at your own risk. "So they killed Carl to replace him with blonde season 2 Carl," another Reddit user, ploz, wrote. Some are also saying that there are plenty of other characters the show needs to delve further into exploring, instead of developing a new character like Henry. "Out of all of the characters on this show how ... did this kid manage to eat up this much screen time?" wrote Fizjig. "Meanwhile the main characters that have been around since the beginning get less and less time."
Twitter also had no shortage of opinions, especially when Henry (played by Macsen Lintz) began to cause trouble for some of the other survivors by placing himself in unnecessary danger.
Other fans are speculating that Henry might take over some of the story arcs that Carl went through in the comics, as Carl lives on in the show's source material. And let's just say that there's a vocal portion of fans who are incredibly skeptical if this proves to be the case. "If this kid takes Carl's future arcs I'm out," wrote TheOnlyRealSquare in another Reddit thread. And it's not that surprising that people are defensive of Carl's place in the franchise — his death was a wildly controversial decision by the show, and not much time has passed at all since Carl's demise, meaning that many are likely still grieving the loss and aren't quite ready to welcome another Carl-like figure back into the show.
Granted, Henry's character is still very new, and there are plenty of ways he could prove to differ from Carl as his time on The Walking Dead goes on. It would be extremely refreshing if the show went a different direction with its younger characters — before Carl grew up into more of a teenager and young adult, his incompetence and knack for getting himself into trouble was basically a meme, and other kids have fallen down a similar story path.
While raising kids in a post-apocalyptic world would definitely be stressful, it's certainly not true that nearly every single one would be a straight up nightmare. The Walking Dead has done a great job at fleshing out its adult characters, and Carl as he got older. Doing the same with the children it features would definitely stave off some fan criticism.
Lintz has a previous connection to the show, which might explain even more why he and Carol have gravitated toward one another. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lintz is the brother of Madison Lintz, who played Carol's now long-dead daughter Sophia earlier in the series. Hopefully he doesn't meet the same demise as Sophia, but Henry's not off to a great start. Anything could happen, though, especially if some of the older characters like Carol manage to rein him in.