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Unveiling the Surprising Secrets Surrounding Andrew Lincoln's Abrupt Departure from The Walking Dead in Season 9!
2024/01/31

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Following actor Andrew Lincoln's exit from the hit series, the reason given why Rick left The Walking Dead during season 9 ended up setting up much of the rest of the series and beyond. AMC launched The Walking Dead in 2010, a series that remains popular over a decade later. Based on the acclaimed comic series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead's lead role of Rick Grimes was played by Andrew Lincoln. A mainstay from season 1, it seemed inevitable that Rick would be one of the few season 1 TWD characters to stay the course. However, Rick leaving The Walking Dead in season 9 opened up the franchise's future.

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Andrew Lincoln's Departure: A Shock to Fans

Even for a show like The Walking Dead with its shocking character deaths and an ever-changing cast list, Lincoln's season 9 exit was a huge shock to viewers. One of the reasons The Walking Dead gained such a big following was the frequency and unpredictable nature of major characters suddenly dying during the zombie apocalypse story — a story told with Rick Grimes as a narrative anchor. Surprisingly, the reason why Rick left The Walking Dead was not due to his character's death but rather a decision by the actor that left the future of Rick Grimes open — enabling him to return for the TWD finale and upcoming spin-off The Ones Who Live.

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The Reason Behind Rick Grimes' Exit

By the time season 9 rolled around, Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) seemed to be The Walking Dead mainstays who would last until the end. Rick was there until the end of the story of The Walking Dead comics, so viewers of the AMC show familiar with the source material expected Andrew Lincoln to be a permanent TWD cast member. However, that changed on the TV series during season 9 with his surprising departure — although he did return for one final appearance in The Walking Dead series finale.

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