Will Rick be able to pull himself together and lead while still struggling with the loss of Glenn and Abe?

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Rick seems ready to rise up and rally the other communities to fight Negan. But will his guilt over the deaths of Glenn and Abe change his leadership style heading into war?

Rick has always struggled with the responsibility of leadership in The Walking Dead. When all this started he was just trying to find his family after the world fell apart. But when he found them he also found people who needed a leader.

The group looked to him for leadership and direction he reluctantly took on that role. And he’s worked hard to keep everyone alive. Unfortunately he hasn’t always succeeded.

Over and over again his mistakes have ended up getting people he loves killed. When he agreed to take out the Saviors in the outpost he kick started a chain of events that led directly to the brutal deaths of Glenn and Abe.

Both of those deaths were traumatic. But losing Glenn hit him hard. And knowing it was ultimately his fault Glenn died shook him badly. Glenn was one of the first people he met. Glenn saved his life. And without Glenn he wouldn’t have found Lori and Carl.

The question is now for Rick is whether or not he’s learned from that mistake. Will he be able to lead the survivors to victory and avenge Glenn and Abe? Not unless he makes better decisions when it comes to fighting Negan.


Rick’s fatal mistake was in how he attacked the Saviors outpost.  He assumed that the outpost was Sanctuary and that Negan was inside. Rick didn’t do any kind of surveillance to be sure before attacking.

Another flaw in the plan was not seeing what kind of numbers the Saviors had. He assumed that the Saviors at the outpost were the total Savior force. If he had verified the information given to him by Hilltop he would have known how large the Savior force really was.

Rick should have known better. But he was overconfident. He assumed that the Saviors were no better at fighting than the people of Alexandria were. Or the people at Hilltop.

He figured that they would be able to easily take out everyone inside. But he was very wrong. And those assumptions led to a bad plan of attack. That led to the confrontation in the forest and the deaths of Glenn and Abe.


Rick’s guilt over his role in the deaths of Glenn and Abe is weighing heavily on him. But he’s going to have to let go of that guilt if he’s going to lead effectively. If he’s second guessing himself he’s not going to be able to beat Negan.

That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t plan more carefully as he tries to figure out how the survivors can attack the Saviors and win. He absolutely should. But that guilt is going to keep him from making the bold choices he’s going to need to make if the survivors are going to win the war.

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Hopefully reuniting with Maggie and Sasha will help him get over the guilt he feels about Abe and Glenn. The group has been scattered for far too long. They need to grieve together. And fight together.

The Burden of Leadership

If the war that’s coming is going to be successful Rick will have to put aside all the emotions that are dragging him down right now. He will be scared. And he might still have nagging doubts and guilt.

But in order to convince the other communities to join the fight he will have to convince them that they can win. And if he doesn’t believe that, they won’t either. The survivors are looking to him now more than ever for leadership. He has to be able to get past everything that has happened and focus on the future.

If he can do that the survivors might actually have a chance to beat Negan and the Saviors. The odds are against them. But they have beaten the odds before. Even in the bleak world of The Walking Dead love, loyalty, and commitment can still triumph.