Eight years later and fans still love The Walking Dead. We laugh we cry we have heart palpitations with each of the characters. This years panel at San Diego Comic-Con didn’t hold back any emotion. Beginning with the Trailer for Season 9 and then transitioning to Andrew Lincoln. Fans were in tears once the announcement that Lincoln will be leaving the show this season.
“There seems to be an elephant in the room, and many of you may be wanting to ask a question about whether or not this is my last year. I did a zombie poll two weeks ago. There were 200 zombies. I asked them, do I confirm or do I deny. This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” he said. “Now hear me out. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show,” he continued. “I promise not to cry. I’ve done enough crying on screen. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show, and this has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my career, made largely because of you guys. I want to thank you.”
Lincoln may not have cried. However, his Walking Dead co-stars on the panel with him tried to contain their emotions as much as they could. Saying goodbye to a beloved character we all cherish is hard even if they knew it was coming. Lincoln doesn’t seem too convinced about leaving Rick Grimes behind though. “My relationship with Rick Grimes is far from over,” Lincoln stressed. “A large part of me will always be a machete-wielding, Stetson-wearing, zombie slayer from London, England. I’m really really excited about this season. It will continue to be an ensemble, and no one is bigger than the story and the story this year is unbelievable.”
Opening with a shot of Rick talking with Negan in his cell. “It wasn’t that long ago, we were fighting just to stay alive, but it’s not like that anymore,” Rick tells him. “We’re building; we’re growing.” Negan is not so convinced of this new atonement. And to Ricks surprise, Negan may be right.
Everyone is coming together, although tensions and power struggles are going on. No one knows if the Saviors are redeemable and this is causing problems. The opportunity to lead is open, and Rick, Daryl, and Maggie all have their eyes on the seat.
Maggie is seen holding a baby, meaning she gave birth, so we have moved a little leap into the future. Will this be the drive for Maggie to take control and bring order? The communities are rebuilding and progressing. “It’s really cool to jump forward in the story. It’s been a little while since the war ended. You see that they’re building for the future.” Fans are excited to see how people may have changed since the end of the war. Why are they where they are?
Looking at Negan, who seems to be spending most of this season in a cell. Jeffrey Dean Morgan said the character’s “having to face some stuff internally” and will interact with cast members he’s never come face to face with before. “As a character, I could be itching to get out of there; I’m there to stir things up,” he added.
To lighten the room from the sad news, Reedus and Lincoln also talked about their on-set prank war. Lincoln most recently TPing Norman’s car. “When you prank Andy, he gets you back, but he doesn’t do any of the work,” Reedus said. “His last prank, he gets someone else to toilet paper the car?” Norman. All of which occurred after a deep and emotional scene.
“The Walking Dead” returns October 7 on AMC.