The Walking Dead Star Andrew Lincoln to Exit Next Season: Report

The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln Leaving

R.I.P., Rick Grimes?

Andrew Lincoln is set to exit the AMC hit drama The Walking Dead during the upcoming Season 9, according to a report from Collider. Lincoln, who stars as Rick on the hit zombie thriller, will reportedly only appear in a half-dozen episodes in Season 9 before leaving the show for good. To compensate for the loss of its primary star, AMC is reportedly preparing to offer Lincoln’s co-star Norman Reedus (Daryl) “substantial compensation” to stay with the show and assume the lead role. (AMC declined to comment when TVLine reached out for confirmation.)

The Walking Dead is a show built for cast turnover, with characters often dying in shocking fashion, but the loss of Lincoln — the face of the series for eight seasons now — would be especially tough to overcome. Just last season, many fans protested when Rick’s son Carl, played by Chandler Riggs, was killed off. Plus, Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, will be starring in the new ABC drama Whiskey Cavalier, and will only return to TWD next season on a part-time basis.

Is The Walking Dead worth watching without Rick Grimes? Hit the comments and share your reaction to Lincoln’s exit.