Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes is probably the most-loved character in The Walking Dead‘s long history. The first eight seasons of the show followed his journey after he awoke from his coma in the series premiere to find civilization in ruins. As such, his departure in season nine was a big moment. Many expected him to be killed off, but he survived and will be the lead in an upcoming movie trilogy.
His current whereabouts are unknown and where there’s a mystery, fans will try to solve it. A very popular fan theory is that he’s secretly become another character: The Walking Dead: World Beyond‘s Major General Beale.
This shadowy figure is the commander of the Civic Republic Military, and fans have theorized he’s either an amnesiac Rick or simply under deep cover. After all, we know that Rick was the “something very valuable” Jade gave to the CRM and that this show takes place six years after we last saw him. He’s got the leadership skills—why couldn’t he rise to the top?
But World Beyond‘s seventh episode disproves that. In this episode, we see the character Mason (Will Meyers) reveal that Beale is his father, as well as the revelation that Beale founded Project Votus eight years ago. This means that timeline-wise Rick can’t be Beale, as he doesn’t have a son named Mason, and we know what he was doing eight years ago as we saw it in The Walking Dead.
So, Rick’s fate remains unknown. I suspect answers will only come once we learn more about The Walking Dead‘s movie trilogy, though sadly that’s way behind schedule and is still in pre-production.
In the meantime, new episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond air Sundays on AMC.