While death is an ever-present specter hanging over all characters on The Walking Dead, it’s fair to say that there are a few characters who could be declared “safe.” Carl certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and we know that fans would riot if the show ever offed Daryl Dixon, but no character’s survival is more guaranteed than Rick Grimes, who has been with viewers ever since the first episode. Surely there’s no chance that Rick could die, at least not before every other main character has bit the dust first?
Well, according to Andrew Lincoln, who portrays the character on the show, Rick isn’t as safe as we may think.
In an interview with LA Times this week, Lincoln discussed his time playing the character, as well as his belief that Rick’s days very well may be numbered.
“I’m the dude that woke up in the hospital in the very beginning — I’d like to think there’s a bit of job security there,” Lincoln admitted. “But the suddenly Negan turns up, with that crazy baseball bat, and all bets are off. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rick is very much in the fabric of the show. But then, so was Glenn. We’re all expendable on this show.”
Lincoln admits that he was actually worried Rick had been killed off earlier in the season, after it appeared that Michonne had seen him die in the episode “Say Yes.” The actor went into a panic, prompting his friend and co-star Norman Reedus to step in and calm him down.
“I remember him calling me in a total … panic,” Reedus said. “I had to talk him off the ledge after he read that script. We were on the phone for a couple of hours.”
While Rick’s death would be a bold move on the show’s part, it’s difficult to share Lincoln’s belief that there’s a realistic chance of the character departing anytime soon. Rick Grimes is very much still alive in the comics and with producer Scott Gimple recently revealing that he’d like to see The Walking Dead run for 20 seasons, it’s hard to believe that they would kill off the most prominent character this early in the game. Then again, it’s hard to imagine Lincoln (or any actor for that matter) would want to keep doing this for another 13 years, so if he one day decides he’s had enough, Rick could very well become walker chow.