Read Andrew Lincoln’s Goodbye Letter To The Walking Dead

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Unfortunately, we’ve only got two more episodes of Rick Grimes left on The Walking Dead. And though we’ve known for a while now that Andrew Lincoln would be exiting the show that he’s led for almost a decade sometime in the first half of season 9, it’s finally about to happen. So, as is usual for TWD, it looks like we should get ready to mourn another beloved character, right?

Well, maybe not. Obviously, the past several years of the series have taught us to expect every departing cast member to go out with a grisly demise, but Lincoln and the rest of the gang have been pretty careful to leave the option open that Rick might not die. Whether that’ll actually be the case or not remains to be seen, but either way, the actor’s on his way out and now, he’s penned a heartbreaking letter to the fans, thanking them for coming on this journey with him.

Here’s how it reads:

“Thank you…

For coming with us on this journey. For the nine years of fear, heartache, anger and, let’s face it, guts you’ve shown by making it through these 115 episodes and counting. And for services to journalism that go way behind any civilised levels of human endurance.

For understanding that despite the high volume of undead, this is actually an ongoing story about what it is to be alive. A story of hope, family and friendship. People with nothing in common discovering that they have everything in common. United in their search for humanity and a place to call home. A story that has perhaps even more relevance now than it did when we began.

It’s been the most exciting, challenging and satisfying role of my career — and for the best part of a decade, the greatest adventure of my professional life. This season feels like the show I fell in love with all those years ago, and the world we were always heading toward when we wrapped the pilot episode.

By my own rough count, I’ve killed over 400 zombies during the apocalypse. Lost a horse, found a horse. Lost a girl… that didn’t go well. Ate a dog once. Wore a meat poncho twice. Escaped from a bunch of hipster cannibals. Not to mention I’ve been shot twice, baseball batted, stabbed three times, bit a man’s throat out (I’m sorry — that was weird — and tasted like chicken), and had my cowboy boots resoled… 12 times.

We began as an indie movie, and years later became a three-letter acronym (wtf?). And along the way, we’ve had the unique pleasure of meeting zombie enthusiasts all over our beautiful blue planet. From Tokyo to Trinidad, people have been united by their love of this story of survival… and Norman Reedus’ extraordinarily luscious hair.

It’s been a wild ride, shaped by the relationship between the show and the fans of the show, and in no small part you good people of the press.

I look forward to following your coverage of the show and my friends in Atlanta for seasons to come — what they have planned is quite incredible.

So thank you.

For all of it.

For the good, the bad… and of course, we wouldn’t be a free press… without the ugly.

Until our paths cross again.

Keep Calm and Carry a Red Machete…

Andrew Lincoln”

Are you crying yet? It’s certainly the end of an era and you’d best have a tissue box ready on November 4th when you tune in for “What Comes After.” That’s the installment that’ll act as Rick’s final hurrah and no matter how they decide to write him out, you can bet that it’ll be a very emotional goodbye.

While we wait to learn more about what AMC has planned, tell us, how do you think Rick Grimes will make his grand exit on The Walking Dead? A bloody death, or a peaceful departure? Make yourself heard in the comments section down below!

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