It turns out Robert Kirkman’s promise that no one’s safe in The Walking Dead was 100% true. Kirkman, who created the comic series and serves as Executive Producer of AMC’s hit zombie soap opera, once said that even Rick wasn’t 100% safe in The Walking Dead. Now, that looks like it may come to pass.
According to an exclusive report from Collider, Andrew Lincoln, who’s played officer Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead since day one, will be leaving the series after the show’s ninth season. They don’t give any details on exactly how the defacto leader will make his exit, but promises that he’ll be around for a half-dozen episodes.
One season of The Walking Dead is 16 episodes, which is split into two 8-episode half-seasons. This could mean that Rick’s death could be the big moment for the mid-season finale when it airs later this year. Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, is only returning for a limited number of episodes in season nine as well. After the events in the most recent season finale, Rick decided to leave Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) alive. This hinted that there’d be a major conflict between Rick and Maggie. Now, it looks like the two former allies could both be in for a grim fate.
Most recently, the show killed off Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), which was a huge deviation from the source material. Killing off Rick would make Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) the show’s last survivors from the original Atlanta camp. Reedus has allegedly been offered a pay raise to take over as the show’s new leading man. If that’s true, he should enjoy it while he can. After all, it was Carol who Kirkman has called the one exception to his “no one’s safe” rule.