‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9: Will Rick Grimes die?
CLEVELAND, Ohio – We know Rick Grimes is leaving “The Walking Dead.” We just don’t know how.
Actor Andrew Lincoln, who has been the centerpiece of the most popular show on cable for the last eight seasons, took center stage at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend.
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” Lincoln confirmed during “The Walking Dead” panel on Friday. “I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make the show. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch the show.”
Lincoln went on to tease two ways Rick could leave the show – death or something similar to Morgan, who disappeared from the series after the first season but showed up sporadically throughout before becoming a regular again.
So which is it? Supposedly, Rick will exit the show during the fifth episode of Season 9. The episode is also rumored to feature the return of Shane in some sort of dream or flashback sequence.
Early rumors suggested Rick would meet his demise while facing a herd of walkers. The recently released trailer for Season 9 added to that speculation, as Rick is seen tearing down walkers with his hatchet.
However, there has also been speculation that the show will leave Rick’s fate open. Maybe he’s killed by walkers, maybe he’s not.
While fans have focused on the aforementioned walker-herd scene from the Season 9 trailer, there’s another moment that may be more telling.
Rick is spotted early on in the trailer using Negan’s trusty Lucille to take out walkers. Later on in the clip, Michonne is spotted picking up the bloodied bat in a field at night with a look of shock on her face.
That’s more likely the moment after Rick’s “death.” Yet, it doesn’t confirm what exactly happened to him.
Honestly, the show could go either way here. Leaving Rick’s fate up in the air (a la Heath) would leave the door open for one of the most iconic characters in television history to return some day.
Yet, there’s also something to be said for closure. Also, how exactly would the series write off Rick? He’s in love with Michonne and he has a daughter. Would he choose to leave them behind?
There are rumors of a massive time jump (the second one of Season 9) to come after the fifth episode. That time jump could stretch several years.
My heart tells me Rick will live to fight another day, someone walking off into the sunset in a way that leaves his return possible. However, my head tells me he dies.
Maybe the series doesn’t show his gruesome death (because, we still can’t get over seeing Glenn’s eyes bugging out of his head). But Rick probably has to die.
Season 9 of “The Walking Dead” premieres Oct. 7.