Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead after season 9

Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead after season 9

Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead after season 9

And it seems that over the course of eight seasons of the AMC series, we've seen plenty of characters meet their end, but Rick Grimes has managed to survive relatively unharmed.

There's no way to hide this huge spoiler for the upcoming Walking Dead season, so let's get it out of the way: Rick Grimes dies.

Nearly unbelievable on a show where nearly no one is said to be safe, the man who has played Rick Grimes since the very beginning of the series based on Robert Kirkman's comics could be gone by the end of the upcoming ninth season, I hear.

"If I was watching it I would want some answers, something, and if that means the demise of a central character or a principal character, then I'm willing to take the medicine".

The Walking Dead returns this fall on AMC. AMC declined to comment to ET. The same goes for Maggie, another series veteran, who will seemingly have fewer episodes in order to ease Lauren Cohan's transition over to ABC spy thriller Whiskey Cavalier.

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What makes Carl's and now (if true) Rick's exit all the more surprising is the fact that the AMC series has largely hewn closer and closer to the comic book storyline with each passing season. The six episodes could be stretched out through all of season nine. With Lincoln set to exit during season 9 and Cohan in a reduced role, one has to wonder of the days of The Walking Dead are numbered. While the show has lost its fair share of stars over the past eight seasons, saying goodbye to the main heartbeat of the series would be its toughest challenge yet.

The departure of Lincoln's Rick would be momentous in terms of the character's prominence in the show and also his longevity.

Meanwhile, Norman Reedus (Daryl) is reportedly negotiating a new deal in light of Lincoln's departure.

But I do think Lincoln has been on the show for far too long, and I wouldn't mind seeing him try his hand at other things. Behind the scenes, Angela Kang is taking over as showrunner from longtime head Scott Gimple.

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