For the last few months, fans have been reeling from the reports which claimed Andrew Lincoln is set to leave The Walking Dead during the upcoming ninth season. As time went by, more and more evidence came forward to suggest that it was true, including the British star being glimpsed flying back home after filming had completed on just six episodes of the new run.
At last, we finally have some official confirmation of the sad news, and the source is Andrew Lincoln himself. During The Walking Dead panel at SDCC, a question about the actor’s future on the AMC zombie drama obviously came up and when it did, Lincoln took the opportunity to make his farewell announcement.
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” he told the crowd, causing an outbreak of gasps, groans and sobs to erupt around Hall H. You can check out the rest of his moving speech in the video below, as captured by the FANDOM Twitter account:
Andrew Lincoln confirms his exit from ‘TWD’ after S9 — 'I promise not to cry I’ve done enough crying on screen'pic.twitter.com/9ZLZJz82BQ
— FANDOM @ SDCC (@getFANDOM) July 20, 2018
The same panel also saw the debut of the epic first trailer for season 9, which teases what’s in store for Rick in his last few episodes. Following Negan’s defeat, the assembled communities have got as close to a civilization as we’ve seen on the show, with Mr. Grimes as their appointed leader. However, civil unrest is brewing with even Rick’s old friends Daryl and Maggie rallying against him.
At this point, we don’t know what happens to the character to necessitate Lincoln’s exit, but you can bet it’ll be an emotional end to someone who’s been the linchpin of the entire series since the start.
Be sure to catch The Walking Dead season 9 when it returns on October 7th.