Andrew Lincoln On The Walking Dead: ‘The Thrill Of The Fight’ Is Back

The Walking Dead‘s Andrew Lincoln is telling fans to gear up and get ready to rock and roll for the second half of Season 7 of the hit AMC zombie-apocalypse series.

The first half of the season saw Rick Grimes (played by Lincoln) and his ever-dwindling band of cohorts suffering brutality after brutality at the hands of the maniacal sociopath Negan and his marauding gang of Saviors.

At times, it was almost too much to bear. We don’t want to give too much away for those who aren’t up to speed, so we’ll just say that a lot of people get killed. And they get killed badly.

It was obvious by the end of the most recent episode that Rick’s crew had finally reached a turning point. They had not choice left but to fight.

Lincoln confirmed that that will indeed be the case in the second half of the season when the show returns on February 12.

It’s probably the opposite of what you just witnessed,” Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly, comparing the first half of the season to the second half. “Certainly from Rick’s point of view. You see a man in action again with some of the members of his closest family.”

But the second half of Season 7 of The Walking Dead won’t be all doom and gore either

“There’s a lot more levity, if you can believe that, than you’ve ever seen before in Mr. Grimes,” Lincoln continued.

“There’s sort of a freedom in him, a feeling that comes from losing everything, and also the thrill of the fight. It’s the thrill of the fight again. He’s back in. All I’m saying is that the band is back together.”

Despite all the shows strengths, it could definitely use some more levity and humor. Even in the zombie apocalypse, people have to laugh sometimes.

Lincoln could barely contain his enthusiasm when telling Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming episodes.

“It’s The Magnificent Seven in the back half,” Lincoln continued.

“Rather, the magnificent eight episodes. Wait till [episode] 16. I promise you, there is one beat in 16, I dropped my script and started punching the air and did a little jig.”

Let’s hope that Lincoln is right about that. The show needs to move in a new direction, and fast. The ratings this season tanked after the first episode, as Forbes‘ Paul Tassi.

“AMC’s plan worked initially, and The Walking Dead put up record numbers as 17 million tuned into the Season 7 premiere to see who Negan had actually killed during after the Season 6 cliffhanger, Tassi writes.

“But afterward? The show’s ratings have fallen off a cliff in the weeks that followed. They dropped precipitously from 12.5 in episode 2 to now just 11 million viewers in episode 5.”

Tassi then compared those numbers to season averages over the years.

“Having just 11 million viewers drops The Walking Dead to a viewership level not seen since season 3. The show was still popular then, but with seasons 4 and 6 averaging about 12-13 million viewers an episode, and season five averaging more like 13-15, this is obviously not the direction The Walking Dead wants to be moving.”

Those are still considerable numbers, but, like Tassi said, they’re obviously moving in the wrong the direction.

Tassi offers five possible reasons for why viewership for The Walking Dead is dropping. Maybe people didn’t like how the first episode of the season went down. Maybe people just don’t like Negan. Or maybe people are getting really frustrated by Rick and the others being subjugated.

That last one seems reasonable. Eventually you quit cheering for people who won’t fight for themselves.

But if anything can bring the numbers back up, it will be an all out war, with the other the factions aligning to fight Negan and the Saviors together.

No we’re looking forward to the second half of Season 7 of The Walking Dead.

[Featured image by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]