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Why These Characters From ‘The Walking Dead’ Didn’t Appear In Rick’s Final Episode

Image via AMC

Love it or hate it, Rick’s final episode saw the return of some beloved characters from the past such as Jon Bernthal as Shane, Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha and the late Scott Wilson as Hershel.

In addition to that, the episode also featured voice over cameos from memorable characters who played pivotal roles in Rick’s history- Morgan Jones (Lennie James), Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), Beth Green (Emily Kinney) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz)

However, fans noticed that some particular characters were excluded from Rick’s last episode.

According to showrunner Angela Kang, Steven Yeun was one of the many actors considered for a brief appearance in Andrew Lincoln’s final episode, but was unable to due to conflicts in his schedule.

Kang told THR:

“Steven was somebody we considered, but there were scheduling difficulties with him. Hershel had a particular relationship with Rick,”

The lovable Glenn, who met his end at the hands of Negan and Lucille, was one of the first characters to cross paths with Rick after he helped him escape the massive horde of Walkers in Atlanta. It is a shame that he couldn’t appear since he’s been with Rick since day 1.

Glenn wasn’t the only character whose absence surprised fans. Even Rick’s own son and wife didn’t make an appearance. Unlike Glenn, this wasn’t due to scheduling conflicts.

Rick is very much a character that will go above and beyond for his family. On The Talking Dead, Executive Producer and writer Scott Gimple reflected on the pilot saying that he was desperately looking for his family. In a circular nature, and even nostalgic, Rick returns to his hunt for his family as he bleeds out in What Comes After.

The problem with Rick finding Carl and Lori is highlighted by Kang when she spoke to Huffington Post:

 “We had these three particular characters [Shane, Hershel and Sasha] who are sort of filling an emotional need for him in the moment, but Rick’s entire journey is looking for his family, and I felt, creatively felt, that if he sees Lori or Carl he would feel like, ‘OK, I fulfilled my mission. I found them. I’m home. I can lay down and die now”

If he found Carl and Lori, Rick would have accepted his fate and died in order to be reunited with them. The idea was to steer Rick towards his new family- Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and close allies Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Carol (Melissa McBride).

Obviously, Rick’s “death” was not as it seemed. Andrew Lincoln is set to star in his own trilogy of movies surrounding The Walking Dead. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the movies. Since Rick will do anything to protect his family, both new and old, will we really see Rick abandon his principles in the films, or will it be a desperate bid to return to his new family?

Only time will tell.

Season 9B, which is sure to bring some surprising twists and turns, returns to AMC on February 10th.

What did you think of Andrew Lincoln’s last episode? And what are you hoping to see in the second half of season 9? Let us know in the comments below.

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