The Walking Dead is one of the most popular shows on television, and fans can’t get enough of this group of survivors experiencing the zombie apocalypse. But it appears the group will be getting one person smaller next season.
**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS INCOMING**
According to Collider, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, will be leaving the show after next season. Not only that, but rumors suggest that Lincoln will only appear in about a half dozen episodes of the next season, so he won’t even appear in the full season.
It’s not known how the show will write off Grimes, the leader of the show’s group of survivors since the beginning. They could kill him off, as the show likes to do, or they could just have him disappear to open the door for a possible return in a later season.
To replace Lincoln, AMC is supposedly offering Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on the show, substantial compensation to take over as the show’s leading actor. Reedus is one of the few characters still around from the beginning of the show. Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Greene on the show, is also getting a big pay raise and a possible larger role next season as well.
Of course, it’s not set in stone that the show will even return after its ninth season. While the show used to bring in the biggest ratings in all of television, the show has lost many viewers in the last few years and the most recent episodes have slipped to all-time lows for the series.
So perhaps the adventures of the gang won’t continue long after Grimes leaves them.