Fans everywhere were shocked to learn that the highly anticipated ninth season of The Walking Dead will be losing one of its main protagonists. Actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays the infamous Rick Grimes, will be leaving the hit AMC zombie drama. And now fans finally have some answers as to why there favorite character is calling it quits.
The Walking Dead has been around since 2010 and has become one of the most popular shows on television. Besides its compelling story and the world’s obsession with zombies, the characters are what really drive this series. There have been many faces that have come and gone on the AMC drama, but one that has been the rock solid foundation of the show is Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. His intense portrayal of a man struggling to survive in a world gone to hell has been one of the best selling points of The Walking Dead. But now, after almost a decade, the actor feels it is time to walk away.
This lead audiences everywhere to wonder what was the reasoning for one of their fan favorites to be leaving the series. The Walking Dead is no stranger to off camera controversy as some of its stars have had to holdout over contract disputes. However, with Lincoln this is not the case. His reason for leaving comes very close to home. “I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” says Lincoln. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”
The reason that viewers love Rick Grimes is the same reason he is exiting the series. Grimes has always been about community and staying close to those that matter. Family is a very important thing and when you are shooting a TV show in another country for half of the year, missing your loved ones can really take a toll. The actor is ready to get back home to his kin and was very happy with the way things have played out for his final run. “Completing the show was like releasing air finally,” unveils Lincoln. “And it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular. But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s— got real, is the truth of the matter.”
Lincoln also dropped some interesting intel on the upcoming season to EW that will definitely continue to build the hype for Walking Dead fans. “The world is deteriorating,” he says. “Food is scarce, the Hilltop’s the main sort of food source, communications are breaking down, we don’t have gas anymore and we’re on horseback, and we’ve run out of bullets. So there is an enormous pressure on this group.” This next season has been described by new showrunner Angela Kang as an almost reboot for the series and this will be very fitting as the show will need some adjustments to fill the void left by Lincoln.
The famed Walking Dead star also teased at the action to come for his character. “Rick Grimes has got a long game, and he knows that unless we trade, unless we look after each community, it’s going to fall apart,” teases Lincoln. “And that’s where we meet a fellow band of warriors just as it’s about to kick off. It’s a fragile peace.” This may or may not be a hint as to what happens to Grimes in his final season. Either way this is shaping up to be one of the best season for The Walking Dead and a proper send off for a beloved character.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 7th.