Andrew Lincoln to Leave The Walking Dead With Season 9

TWD Head on Spike

And with a Brave New World on the horizon for Season Nine, this news has many fans wondering how the series can continue without Rick Grimes.

Despite being on the air for a whopping eight seasons, AMC's The Walking Dead has remained one of the most popular shows on television.

Lincoln is only set to appear in six episodes of The Walking Dead Season 9, according to Collider. But as Rick is The Walking Dead's protagonist, can the show survive without him? It is not clear how Lincoln's character will make his exit.

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These past couple seasons have been brutal for the series, and this past season saw the departure of Chandler Riggs, who played Karl in the show. Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, is only contracted to appear in six episodes in Season 9, which is now in production.

There had been some conflict earlier this year about pay disparity and that may have been the nail in the coffin for Cohen's relationship with The Walking Dead.

A source told the news outlet Lincoln, 44, is leaving to focus more on films. AMC has reportedly offered a substantial raise to second-billed actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, to take over as the series' lead.

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This news comes as a big surprise considering Rick is still alive in the Robert Kirkman comics.

Daily Star Online has contacted a representative for The Walking Dead for comment. "The differences that people will be seeing in season nine and beyond are going to be pronounced". It remains to be seen if Lincoln's exit will win back viewers who left during the Rick vs. Negan storyline or if this will only make fans angrier.

Speaking about the end of his character and the show as a whole, Lincoln previously said: "T$3 here's certainly an endgame in my head".

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