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CONFIRMED: Andrew Lincoln Leaving ‘The Walking Dead’ After Season 9

AMC/Gene Page

Andrew Lincoln will be leaving the hit show, The Walking Dead, after its 9th season, anonymous sources have confirmed to us.

While there are not many more details out on Andrew Lincoln’s leave, we can also confirm that AMC will be making a proper announcement very soon, and that they do have plans to honor his character the way The Walking Dead fans would want our sheriff-turned-apocalyptic-leader to be honored.

Lincoln made the character of Rick Grimes one of the most iconic, when he appeared in the first episode of The Walking Dead in 2010. Rick Grimes became a beloved leader, and we’ve seen him through countless apocalyptic battles, wins and losses. More recently, his character makes a breakthrough when he turns over his pattern of increasingly brutal decisions, to spare Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), because he knows it’s what his late son Carl would have wanted.

We spoke with Andrew Lincoln last year, and asked him what he thinks the end of The Walking Dead would look like. Here is what he said.

Out of respect to the fans and everybody myself, I want to have stock in this extraordinary story, but how do you do that in a comic book and a show that never ends? That’s what’s exciting and formidable about the show is that I would love to see Rick grow old and look like Mount Rushmore, but I have a feeling that’s not gonna be the case. We’ve built such an extraordinary fan based on a story that is painful. Beautiful but painful-which is life. I like to think that we’re going to continue to do that.

What that means is that at some point Rick’s going to have to fall, probably. But the short answer is, I don’t know. Ask Scott Gimple.

Fans of the show have been speculating as to where the direction of the series was going after Carl’s shocking death left them confused and dumbfounded. Since then, The Walking Dead universe was shaken up with a show runner re haul. They appointed Angela Kang to show runner and elevated previous show runner Scott Gimple to oversee the universe along with that of it’s sister show, Fear The Walking Dead.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after months of speculation that Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on the show was also leaving due to contractual disagreement and her interest in pursuing other opportunities. She has since joined ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier which has been picked up for the Fall.

It was also confirmed Tuesday that Cohan would only be in 6 of the first eight episodes of Walking Dead’s 9th season, which leads us to wonder if she will appear in the back half of the season at all.

We now know for sure that the series will be shedding its original skin forever. It’s main character, Rick Grimes, will be no longer.

Andrew Lincoln will appear in several episodes of season 9, but it is yet to be determined whether he will be gone before the second half.

The Walking Dead returns for its 9th season this October. The premiere date has not yet been announced.

Walking Dead fans, how are you feeling?