My Theory for Rick "Leaving" TWD (Possible Spoilers...Enter at Your Own Risk)

PigBenis Member Posts: 1,126
I'm sure many of you are aware of some of the rumors going around saying that Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes on the show) is leaving the Walking Dead and his contract only included 5 or 6 episodes for Season 9, set to air this Fall. This was reported over a month ago and numerous other reports have since surfaced. Here is a list of some additional things of note:

Andrew Lincoln has been seen at the airport headed back to England after filming of his episodes with a short beard.
Jon Bernthal (Shane on the show) has been seen on set for filming of Season 9.
Lauren Cohan (Maggie on the show) is now involved with a pilot series on ABC but will return in a "limited role" in Season 9.
Norman Reedus (Daryl on the show) reportedly has a contract deal for around $20 million (finalized yet?).
New teaser artwork released by AMC suggests Season 9 will involve Washington D.C. and shows the helicopter seen often in the show.
AMC has not confirmed the rumor that Andrew Lincoln is "leaving the show" saying "Don't believe everything you hear" on Twitter.

Here is what I make of all of this. AMC has not confirmed that he is leaving because they like the hype, which will lead to better ratings AND because he may not be leaving. Ratings have declined in the past few years and they may have planted this information to create a new buzz. They have cryptically disputed the rumor that Lincoln is leaving and in their message they both protect their ratings and maybe offer some truth to him staying on...I believe he will be staying on the show for longer than Season 9. Jon Bernthal was on set to do some filming of a "flashback or memory" type scene involving Rick as he's thinking back on his life. I don't believe Jon was there to watch Andrew Lincoln film his final scenes on the series, which many believe to be the case.

Daryl will be the lead character for a season or more because of his massive contract and Maggie will see less and less screen time...possibly even being killed off this season. Andrew Lincoln would be a fool for passing up the amount of money that Norman Reedus was offered, even if he thought "Rick's story had been told". Right now Rick is the peacekeeper and the only one preventing Negan from being killed as Daryl and Maggie both want Negan dead and if he left the show, how does that dynamic work? There needs to be a reason to keep Negan alive. So what possible scenario could allow for all of this to make sense?

I believe in the theory that Rick will be taken by a group of individuals that have the helicopter (Commonwealth that is located in Washington D.C.). He could possibly be with Maggie and they both get captured. I believe that if Maggie is with Rick, she will die and won't make it out alive this season or next. This will allow Daryl, who sees Rick/them get captured, to go after them and try to get them back. For this, he will need the help of Negan. It makes absolutely no sense to have Negan locked up in a prison cell vs. a dynamic role. Negan will work with Daryl and possibly Maggie, if she isn't with Rick. They will rescue Rick in this season or the next (more likely).

This would allow: Norman (Daryl) to justify the huge contract, Andrew (Rick) the time off to be with his family, Lauren (Maggie) the time off for her new show, Negan the ability to do something useful and return the favor for Rick sparing his life last season. This will also help fans to see Negan as "human" and not all evil, almost to the point of becoming a top 3 favorite for saving Rick. This also explains why Rick was able to shave his beard, since he will only be in 5 or 6 episodes this season and will have time to grow it out for when he is rescued.

What are your ideas if you don't buy the ones that I've stated? I'd like to hear some more theories and different opinions.


  • zbot
    zbot Member, OW Moderator, NML Legendary Moderator Posts: 7,661 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Moved to TV discussion
  • RainmakerAB
    RainmakerAB Member Posts: 24
    Kill Maggie?!??! You savage!
  • ekimhclew
    ekimhclew Member Posts: 771 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Andrew Lincoln has confirmed that he is leaving the show after season 9
  • MadPuppy
    MadPuppy Member Posts: 2,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Assumptions 100%.

    Rick will die. The dude will not be able to do anything else for the rest of his life if he doesn't shed his Rick skin at some point. He's a good enough actor to go do other stuff. Having him alive will only permit the network to go try and get him back later on, which will only cause stress on his resolve, he doesn't want that. When you're done, you're done.

    Maggy stays alive, but the story focuses on Alexandria and will only feature Hilltop sporadically, and thus allow Maggy a limited schedule having here bases in Hilltop. If her other endeavors turn out favourable and grow in demand, she may decide to get out of TWD, dead or alive, in season 10 or onwards.

    Negan will be rehabilitated and become the new leader, but will eventually get killed off because the charactor will loose popular interest quickly on the TV show. Possibly as soon a season 10.

    Daryl and Dwight will lead the army which will get more structured.

    Eugene will become more bad-ass, but will remain the brainiac.

    I think the series needs some fundamental changes to turn the ratings around. What those should entail, I couldn't guess at. I'll just watch until it ends.
  • TransmuteJun
    TransmuteJun Member Posts: 2,165 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    While I don't like Daryl as a character, he is popular. He could take Rick's place as leader and then the show could keep following the general arc of the comics.

    I'll still be watching, although I will miss Andrew Lincoln.

    As for Lauren Cohan, Whiskey Cavalier is just a pilot. No episodes have been filmed (or so she told us personally when we met her at San Diego Comic Con). It's a gamble, and she still need to be on TWD for a while yet.