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‘The Walking Dead’: Rick was Originally Going to Leave During Season 8’s All Out War

Victoria Will/AMC

Caution: This post contains spoilers from episode 9×05 of The Walking Dead, ‘What Comes After”.

Last night, we said goodbye to Rick Grimes as he ended his time on The Walking Dead. The episode made fans believe that Rick died in an explosion, and then Anne finds him injured and lying on the river bank out of sight of Daryl, Michonne, Maggie and the rest of the group. Anne then asks the helicopter which was supposed to bring her and Gabriel away, to take her newfound “B”. They give in and take both Rick and Anne off to a brand new journey-not to return.

His early season exit worked well with the series, and fans are reacting positively to the choice the writers made.

On Monday, Scott Gimple revealed to EW that Rick was originally going to leave the series much earlier. Andy initially planned to leave in season 8, and then decided to push it back to be able to better serve the story. If he were to leave during the 8th season, it would have been in the midst of the All Out War, that now resulted in Negan jailed, and the groups divided over whether to trust The Saviors.

There was an absolute plan, and I knew which episode it was, and had a very good idea, as did the writers at that point. But on this show, it’s a constant exercise in that sort of choose your own adventure storytelling, of knowing the directions you’re going to go in, and listing them all. And that’s always worked very well in as much as even back before I was showrunning, having a few different directions, because invariably you’ll go back to those other directions you didn’t use and potentially apply them to another story. And it’s also that remixing of Robert Kirkman’s stuff. He gives you the opportunity to reorder some of the comic story, which I think has worked well.

Although he ended his time on the series, AMC announced that a film trilogy is in development starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, so there will be a continuation of that story. It is also set to star Pollyanna McIntosh and other cast members down the line.

Are you satisfied with how he made his series exit?

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Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo