The Walking Dead Season 9: 5 Reasons Why Rick Grimes Won’t Die

The Walking Dead Season 9 - Rick Grimes

The Walking Dead fan base was shaken to it collective core earlier this summer when news broke that Andrew Lincoln would be leaving the show.

Lincoln later confirmed as much at a Comic-Con convention.

It was supposed to be a secret, much like the exit of Chandler Riggs was going into last year’s mid-season finale. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way and Lincoln’s Rick Grimes won’t be awarded the same television honor.

It remains to be seen if he endures the same fate, though.

The exit of Rick Grimes even has the actors on The Walking Dead grasping for rationale. If a star as big as Lincoln – and a character as massive as Rick Grimes – can be dispatched, who can’t? More importantly, can the show even survive?

The answers, quite easily, are nobody and maybe.

But the bitter taste of departure for a beloved character doesn’t have to also be so grim. In a dark world like The Walking Dead, that’s the immediate assumption; Rick Grimes can only leave one way, and that’s with his body in the dirt.

Maybe, but perhaps it doesn’t have to be that cold. I actually think it’s possible there are several ways to explain a Rick Grimes exit without actually having to kill the character off.

Lincoln, after all, did say at Comic-Con that he’s far from done with the character. I’m not sure exactly what that means yet, but there are a lot of The Walking Dead theories sifting through the madness that is the world wide web.

Here’s some of the craziness corralled in one hopeful (if somewhat delusional) TWD blog that hopes the greatest character of modern television can avoid a permanent demise:

It’s All Too Tidy

If for no other reason (beyond not wanting to), I don’t yet fully buy Rick Grimes being killed off because this is set up way too cleanly.

Is everyone on this show this committed to a lie to trick everyone into thinking Rick Grimes dies, only to have him come back and save the day later in the series? I’m not sure, but I’m also certain how I feel about this being way too tidy.

News never broke about Carl’s death. People speculated and felt they knew, but there was never a true reveal over who Negan killed with his baseball bat, either.

Back when Glenn Rhee’s death was teased with that zombie hoard by a dumpster, everyone was left in suspense. For weeks.

Maybe Andrew Lincoln is planning an exit, but whoever leaked the news got the episode count or season wrong. Perhaps he is on his way out, but there’s more to it. Or maybe it’s just an elaborate lie to help prop up a brand new TWD universe.

I can’t really put my finger on it. And maybe that’s what Lincoln meant; that it was going to be a surprise and intense and everything we could have wanted for a Rick Grimes death – but we just weren’t supposed to know it was coming.

That’s possible, if not likely. But it still stinks of a set up.

Fear the Walking Dead Exists

One major reason why I refuse to believe Rick is a goner? No matter what happens on The Walking Dead, there could always be room for him on Fear the Walking Dead.

Lennie James took his Morgan character over there last year, while Lincoln and a slew of TWD castmates even made cameo appearances on the sister series before he departed.

This tells us two things; AMC isn’t afraid of crossing the two worlds and they literally just did it with a big character. With The Walking Dead’s world getting so big that it doesn’t necessarily need it’s more powerful character, could Fear the Walking Dead look to embrace Rick Grimes?

I don’t fully buy it, if only because it takes away from the impact of Morgan making the move. Still, Lincoln even cited that as an option for TWD characters to leave the show without truly “leaving the show”.

It’s pretty arguable Fear the Walking Dead could use a little more star power, while Rick Grimes leaving his old crew to start a new life would certainly prop up whatever new story FTWD dreams up.

Rick is Exiled

Whether Rick Grimes ends up joining Fear the Walking Dead or not, you need to find a way to explain a departure where he’s still living.

One way is to have the group exile Rick.

Last we saw our favorite survivors, Grimes rubbed the likes of Daryl and Maggie the wrong way by sparing Negan. Rick was trying to rebuild society and set a precedence that there will be consequences for devious behavior.

While noble, it robbed the rest of his crew of sweet revenge on the man with the bat.

That could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, while in watching the new TWD trailer, it’s pretty clear tensions are slowly building. There is an ominous feeling that Rick’s own group could ultimately be the reason he dies, but they might just be the reason he leaves Alexandria – living.

The two sides will come to a head at some point. It could lead to Grimes dying or the group forcing him out of town. Or maybe Negan rises back to power and gives Rick another one of his classic “one time” offers – a ticket out of town.

One way or another, Rick leaves and is off of the show, but he’s not necessarily gone for good.

We Think Rick Dies

An exile would make plenty of sense and it’d take care of the dispatching deed, while keeping Lincoln on the roster for any future appearances.

Another way to do it is to just trick everyone.

The Walking Dead is no stranger to this. They literally teased Glenn Rhee’s death in horrifying fashion and there are quite a few characters that have flat out disappeared with zero explanation or follow up story.

Heath is the most recent one that comes to mind, while die hard TWD fans talked up a Morales return for year until he finally did show back up last season.

Maybe Rick runs into a herd of walkers and he gets lost in the madness. Perhaps Daryl leads him out into the woods much like he did with Dwight.

Whatever the case, the show makes you think – nay, believe – that Rick Grimes is gone for good. Whether that ends up being true, of course, remains open-ended for the series and Andrew Lincoln.

Either that’s his ending, or it’s a temporary ending that allows him to return at a future time.

The New World Needs Rick Grimes

I’ll take some written word from the wise Morgan and suggest that this show has always been Rick’s story and it will always be Rick’s story.

Even if Andrew Lincoln the actor is done with the show, the series doesn’t have to be done with him. How? By making him the literal reason for actual hope again.

Simply surviving this zombie outbreak and defeating their living enemies is just scratching the surface. What The Walking Dead needs is a rebuilt society and possibly more than anything, a cure.

We’ve known for some time that everyone is infected with the virus. Even if it’s not active, it sparks upon death and before long, every single person will turn.

What if Rick Grimes could end that? There’s been a long-running The Walking Dead rumor floating around that Rick survived in that hospital bed because he’s immune to the virus. That, or he’s actually got a mutated form of the virus and he’s (gulp) already dead.

Explain it how you will, but Grimes has the goods running through his veins to combat this thing. We’ve gotten a glimpse at a bigger new world order in this show and if they catch wind that Grimes could be the answer to pretty much everyone surviving, they might make it a priority to extract him.

How do we actually get to that point? That’s what could make it interesting. Maybe it’s still seeing Rick die, but we finally see him “come back” even though he’s been killed.

Perhaps it’s still an exile situation or maybe he gets his blood drawn and tested and somehow it’s made known that he could be the means to an end.

I just know those words Morgan wrote still ring true and they don’t have to fade into darkness just because Andrew Lincoln the man is leaving the show.


The top entertainment betting sites are wasting a really good prop bet.

I struggle to understand why everyone can bet on the Emmys or wager who will die first on Game of Thrones, but we can’t win money based off of Rick Grimes prop bets.

Those should exist, along with a plethora of other The Walking Dead wagers. They don’t at the moment, but if they do pop up, I’m not so sure I’d bet hard on Grimes exiting via a grizzly death just yet.

It could be wishful thinking or that mantra of not going quietly into the night (here’s to you, Interstellar) forever embedded in my existential brain.

Regardless, I don’t want this to be the end for Rick Grimes and I don’t think it has to be.

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