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‘The Walking Dead’ Cast Old & New Reflect on How Andrew Lincoln’s Legacy is Still Felt

AMC;Walker Stalker Convention/Heather Millsap

Even though it’s quite the cliche – when it comes to The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. In the case of Rick Grimes on the show, his spirit and legacy live on in Judith (and now RJ), as well as Michonne, Daryl, Carol and all of the other characters who became family to him over the years. In the case of Andrew Lincoln, his exit from the series prompted some of the most touching tributes and goodbyes from his fellow cast mates and friends, and his absence is still something that is taking some getting used to for them.

Walker Stalker Con/Heather Millsap

But what does it feel like coming onto The Walking Dead as a new character after Lincoln’s exit? This past weekend while attending Walker Stalker New Jersey, Dan Fogler and Nadia Hilker, who play newcomers Luke and Magna, opened up about how the ripples of both Lincoln’s presence and exit are still felt on set and how they felt stepping onto the set.

“Absolutely. It’s ingrained at this point. It’s part of the fabric of the show [Lincoln’s departure]. When we go there, they just throw you into the fire right away. You get on the horse, and if you’re not down to just jump on have the good vibes and flow with that, it’s a difficult environment to work in,” says Hilker.

“Everyone was really inviting and they say ‘Welcome to the family’ and you really feel like you’re part of the family. It’s nice,” Fogler added.

Walker Stalker

Lincon’s work ethic and open-armed welcome policy are two things that the cast and crew of The Walking Dead have been extremely vocal about over the years. In fact, at his Saviors Panel with Jayson Warner-Smith, Austin Amelio brought up Lincoln when asked about what he took from the show following his departure.

“What did I take from the show? Probably just the work ethic of Andrew Lincoln. I think it feels like it sort of sinks into everybody and the way he manages a set and what he brings to it – I hope to take that away and take that into everything else that I do whenever I’m done with the show.”

Thankfully, when it comes to Andrew Lincoln/Rick Grimes, the fans didn’t have to say as permanent of a goodbye as they had originally thought. Lincoln will continue Rick’s story through a trilogy of films on AMC that will show just what happens to the gun-slinger after that mysterious helicopter ride with Jadis, and for that, we are eternally grateful!

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on February 10th at 9/8c!