Here’s what Carl’s letter to Negan says – and what it means for The Walking Dead season 8

The Walking Dead season 8 still hasn’t got over Carl. The second episode may not have uttered his name until 38 minutes into the episode (trust me, I counted), but his presence – and lack thereof – was certainly felt, none more so than with his pair of letters: one to his dad, and one to Negan.

The show chose to forgo a voiceover when showing Carl’s message to Negan, and it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but Reddit user awakeningosiris has deciphered part of the message – and it hints at a peaceful future for everyone.

First, the contents: while some of the letter was obscured, it reads (complete with gaps):

Negan. This is Carl......someone. I got bit. We didn’t even have......doing... I was just helping someone. And now.....

You might be gone. Maybe my dad killed you - but I don’t think so. I think you(re?) working on a way out. Maybe you got out. Maybe...... lost cause and you just want to kill all of us. I think you have to be who you are. I ju.....s what you wanted. I wanted to ask you....I.....aybe you’ll beat us. If you do, there’ll just (be someone?)..... the way out is working together. It’s forgiving....

Even with some of the letter being illegible (fun fact: that’s because Chandler Riggs’ handwriting is so awful – he admitted it himself), there’s a tease of a truce in Rick and Negan’s near future… except Rick is the roadblock getting in the way of a hesitant handshake.

Rick chooses to open Carl’s letter to Negan. Of course he does. This is a man who is obsessed with finding a reason for Carl’s death when there was none. He chooses to blame Negan, instead of letting the past lie. He ignores his son’s own words in favour of growling at the leader of the Saviors down a walkie-talkie. Just when it seems that a dialogue could be opened, Rick shuts it back in Negan’s face.

In fact, Negan comes off the more remorseful of the two. Rick only sees an endgame involving Negan’s death. Negan, after hearing of Carl’s letter, may choose to see things differently and opt for peace. The trouble is, only one of those trains of thought will win out – and there’s bound to be more bloodshed before we reach that point.

That’s one question answered, here’s five more to mull over: 6 questions I had after watching The Walking Dead season 8, episode 2

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.