The Walking Dead season 9 will arguably feature the most significant death on the show ever, as Andrew Lincoln’s set to vacate the zombie drama that he’s headed for the past eight years now. It came as a shock to fans when it was announced and it seems even his former co-stars were taken aback.
While participating in a Q&A panel at this weekend’s Fandemic Tour Sacramento, Chandler Riggs revealed his thoughts on Lincoln bowing out of the franchise. Of course, the actor himself had a similar shock exit from TWD earlier this year when Rick’s son, Carl Grimes succumbed to a walker bite. He wasn’t aware that his on-screen pops was leaving as well, but, knowing him like he does, he imagines the decision was perhaps influenced by the British actor wanting to spend more time with his family across the pond.
“I mean, honestly, he’s had to leave his family — he lives in England and we shoot in Georgia — and he’s had to leave his family every year for weeks and weeks at a time. And when we started the show, he just had a new kid — they’re like 10 and seven, I think, right now — so the entire time that he’s been on the show, he hasn’t been able to raise his kids full time. So honestly, I think his family is gonna be pretty happy that he’s gonna be back at home and be able to be with them full time.”
This echoes Riggs’ previous comments on the topic, in which he likewise said that he was happy for Lincoln getting to spend more time with his family. As he mentions here, we’d imagine that this would’ve been a big factor in the actor deciding to call its quits. After all, it can’t be easy to raise his kids back in England from Atlanta, Georgia.
While we don’t yet know exactly when we’ll see the last of Rick on The Walking Dead, it’s been reported that he’ll be phased out of the show after just a small handful of episodes. That suggests he could be gone by the midseason finale, but chalk that up as speculation for now as again, we don’t have any firm details at the moment.