'The Walking Dead': Here's How The Show Will Deal With Andrew Lincoln Leaving

Ever since news broke that Andrew Lincoln would be leaving AMC's The Walking Dead, fans have been wondering how his character, Rick Grimes, will be written out of the show. So, how will the show deal with his departure?

News originally broke in May that Andrew Lincoln would be leaving The Walking Dead. The original news story by Collider was not officially confirmed by AMC until the recent San Diego Comic-Con event. However, since then, cast and crew have gone on record to talk about Lincoln's departure. Andrew also recently confirmed the reason for leaving the hit zombie apocalypse series to Entertainment Weekly, citing family reasons for finally leaving the series.

There seems to be a general consensus among fans that Rick Grimes will likely be killed off in Season 9 of The Walking Dead. However, this hasn't been officially confirmed. The network seems to be keeping this detail to themselves for the time being. Most likely, the reason for this is the fact that they are trying to maintain an element of surprise when it comes to Rick's departure in Season 9.

However, the show's new showrunner, Angela Kang, has now revealed to Entertainment Weekly how the show will deal with the loss of Rick Grimes. She reveals that AMC is aiming to "pay homage" to the character who has served as the main character the show has revolved around since he woke up from a coma in Season 1.

"Rick Grimes has been somebody that people have loved watching, just loved this character's journey. He is this man who was looking for his family, and found them, and lost many of them, but has fought on and on. And I think that's meant a lot to people. And we just really wanted to be respectful of that character and send him off in a great way. So that was the charge for us this season."
AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Anrew Lincoln, Rick and Carl Grimes, as seen in the Season 8 finale
AMC | Gene Page

Angela Kang also plans to move the show forward after Rick's departure by continuing to tell the stories of everyone on the show, not just that of Rick.

"It's never been a story just about this one man. It started with him, but it's always been a story about this group of people that have each other's backs, that help each other survive, that help each other be more human. And that's the story that we'll continue to tell."
As for how Rick's departure from The Walking Dead will affect the remaining characters, viewers will just have to tune into Season 9 to find out.

Season 9 of The Walking Dead will premiere on AMC on Sunday, October 7, at 9/8c.