‘The Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Speaks Out About Rick Grimes’ ‘Heartbreaking’ Departure In Season 9

Robert Kirkman also says he knows how Rick Grimes will die in the comic book series.

Robert Kirkman responds during New York Comic-Con about Rick Grimes' departure in Season 9
Ari Perilstein / Getty Images

Robert Kirkman also says he knows how Rick Grimes will die in the comic book series.

Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead is about to premiere this Sunday. For fans of the show, it will be a bittersweet moment — excited at the return of their much-loved series but also devastated because they know it will only be a handful of episodes before the main character, Rick Grimes, parts with the show.

Ever since the news about Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead emerged, fans have been wondering at how it will happen. While the network hasn’t definitely stated that Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes, will die, there is the assumption that that will happen as Andrew Lincoln has made it clear that he left the hit zombie series in order to spend more time with his family.

Now, the show’s creator, Robert Kirkman, has stepped forward to share his thoughts on Rick’s departure.

“It’s very heartbreaking,” Kirkman revealed to the Hollywood Reporter. Kirkman, who was speaking about Rick Grimes’ departure during a Q&A panel at the New York Comic-Con, also revealed that he was sick of talking about it.

“Don’t ask me about Andrew Lincoln’s exit. It’s very heartbreaking to me and I’m sick of talking about it. But it’s going to be cool! Just trust me. I’m going to miss that guy.”

He then followed up his statement by insisting that, yes, people could ask him about it.

Further on in the panel, Kirkman delved into how the loss of the entire Grimes family in The Walking Dead TV series will impact future comic book plans.

As to whether the death will occur in the comics, there appears to be no doubt that Rick will lose his life at some point in the comic book series on which AMC’s TV show is based. However, when Rick will die will remain a secret, according to his response to The Cheat Sheet during the New York Comic-Con Walking Dead panel.

“I know exactly how Rick Grimes dies in the comic book and it’s possible there’ll be some differences there between the comic and the show. The death in the comic could happen next issue. It could happen ten years from now.”

So, it seems fans of both the TV series and the comic books will just have to wait and see how Rick Grimes’ life — and death — will unfold across both mediums.

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

The synopsis, according to AMC, for Episode 1 is below.

“Rick and his group make a risky run into Washington, D.C. to search for artifacts they will need to build the civilization he and Carl envisioned.”