The Walking Dead is about to lose two of its longest running stars. One will be a permanent exit but the other’s believed to be more flexible, leaving the possibility of a return at a later date. We’re of course talking about Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan. While Rick Grimes is being written out for good as Lincoln’s moving on, Cohan’s only losing her regular status due to commitments to her new show Whiskey Cavalier, so it’s possible that she’ll pop back in every now and then.
While speaking with Gamespot, the actress – who’s been part of TWD since season 2 – reflected on her exit. Carefully choosing her words in order to avoid spoilers, Cohan spoke about her love for the series and how it’ll always be special to her. She also described Maggie Rhee’s farewell storyline as “open-ended” and briefly touched on the possibility of returning.
“It feels like the greatest way to honor it is to keep it open-ended because whether it’s about me going back as Maggie or whether it’s about me just taking in, absorbing, and honoring everything I’ve learned there. It never leaves me. It will never, ever leave me. And that is I think the greatest compliment you can give to anything and to any group of people because we all came together to make something that we didn’t know was going to have this success that it did.”
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Lincoln and Cohan are both expected to leave The Walking Dead after a small number of episodes and will likely be gone by the midseason finale. The prevailing theory is that Rick will be killed off, bringing his arc that began in the show’s first ever episode to a close. Maggie, meanwhile, might just pull a Morgan and simply move on to fresh pastures. Though we don’t expect her to switch over to Fear the Walking Dead like Lennie James’ character.
Despite losing these two protagonists, it seems that they won’t necessarily be replaced and The Walking Dead will instead become even more of an ensemble cast, despite those rumors that said Norman Reedus was being promoted so Daryl Dixon could become the new main character. Either way, we’ll see how the AMC zombie drama will be affected by these losses when season 9 arrives on October 7th.