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Andrew Lincoln Reveals Why He Decided to Leave ‘The Walking Dead’

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Without a doubt, it’s been an emotional past few months for The Walking Dead cast and fandom. When news first broke that series star Andrew Lincoln was leaving during the show’s ninth season, fans did not know what to believe. Though the news was confirmed by several sources, many needed to hear it from the man himself.

Earlier this month, during the show’s Hall H panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, Lincoln was finally able to personally address the fans of the series and confirm the dreaded news. Later that weekend, he went on to speak with Entertainment Weekly along with castmates Danai Gurira, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, where he further clarified his statements during the Hall H panel.

One major question which arose during Lincoln’s Hall H comments was the meaning behind him saying, “My relationship with Rick Grimes is far from over.” To many, it sounded as if his involvement with the character would continue and that, perhaps, he would return to the series after a brief hiatus. When Lincoln sat with EW, he expanded further by saying:

“Let me clarify something. Yes, it’s my last season on the TV show, The Walking Dead.”

If you ask us, Lincoln’s clarified statement opens up way more questions than it answers. He seems very specific about stating it’s his last season on the TV show, but if his relationship with the character is far from over, could there be other Walking Dead spinoffs in the works or even perhaps a movie? His statement is still very much open-ended, however, Lincoln was particularly clear on the reason why he decided to leave the show at this time. He told EW:

“I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older. It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”

Who can really argue with that? For the past nine seasons as the leading man on The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln has lived and breathed the zombie apocalypse and now it’s time for him to step back into reality with his family.

Lincoln also commented on how it felt once he wrapped his filming for the season and how it felt to finally speak about his departure at San Diego Comic-Con. He said:

“Completing the show was like releasing air finally, and it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular. But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s— got real, is the truth of the matter.”

It’s certainly going to get real during the upcoming ninth season of The Walking Dead. In addition to Lincoln’s departure, Lauren Cohan’s role on the series is left in question. Cohan was recently cast in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier which has been picked up to series during the 2018 television upfronts. Both Cohan and Lincoln are said to appear in just six episodes in the upcoming season though Cohan has recently let slip a major spoiler about her character’s fate calling Maggie’s story “open-ended.”

The Walking Dead returns to AMC with all-new episodes starting on October 7th.

Are you ready for season nine of The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.