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‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner Reveals How Season 9 Will Address Andrew Lincoln’s Exit

Now that The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln has officially addressed the news that he will be leaving the series during the upcoming ninth season, two major questions remain – How will he leave the series and what does his departure mean for the rest of the show?

New showrunner Angela Kang has now semi-answered these questions, without giving too much away of course, and is helping to put fans’ minds at ease over Lincoln’s departure shake-up. Recently, Kang spoke with Entertainment Weekly, and she revealed how fans can expect the series to handle Lincoln’s departure. First, she spoke about the upcoming season and how the show plans to send off the character, Rick Grimes.

Speaking in regards to the upcoming ninth season, Kang said the story will act as a homage to the Rick Grimes character leading up to an incredible send-off for him. She said:

[row]“The goal this season was just to pay homage to that character — the character that brought us into the show. Rick Grimes has been somebody that people have loved watching, just loved this character’s journey. He is this man who was looking for his family, and found them, and lost many of them, but has fought on and on. And I think that’s meant a lot to people. And we just really wanted to be respectful of that character and send him off in a great way. So that was the charge for us this season.”[/row]

Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the series is going to give way to a huge change when it comes to telling the story of The Walking Dead, but as Kang points out, there’s still a ton of story to tell. While Lincoln’s Rick Grimes is seen as the leader on the series, as Kang explains, the show has never just been about one person. She said the new focus for the show’s creative team will be to “tell the story of the people going forward because it’s never been a story just about this one man. It started with him, but it’s always been a story about this group of people that have each other’s backs, that help each other survive, that help each other be more human. And that’s the story that we’ll continue to tell.”

Of course, while continuing to tell that story, Rick Grimes’ legacy will always live on within the world of The Walking Dead. Kang spoke about the impact that Andrew Lincoln and his character Rick Grimes have had on the series and the cast members as well. She said:

[row]“He has so empowered the other actors to carry on the positive legacy that he’s had on the set all these years, and they really have absolutely stepped up. They have been stepping up all season. So we have all these wonderful actors that are on our show that are gonna be just as positive, and wonderful, and warm as he was, and that’s really the lasting legacy that Andy leaves us as a human being on our set.”[/row]

Lincoln will, for sure, also leave behind a legacy with the fans of the series. We’re sad to see him go but can’t wait to see the captivating story of The Walking Dead continue to play out in the upcoming season.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC with all-new episodes starting on October 7th and you can catch a special Season 9 Preview airing this Sunday, August 5th at 9 PM EST.

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