What the bridge really means to Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

The bridge holds a deeper meaning to Rick Grimes which represents the sacrifice that he is about to make.

Rick Grimes has been heavily focused on re-building a collapsed bridge that could become of great use to all of the communities. However, it seems that every time some type of progress at attempting to re-build the bridge happens, chaos ensues. The Saviors have gotten into fights with the others, and Aaron lost his arm over an incident with the logs rolling over. It seems like nothing can hold the bridge together right now.

In the most recent episode titled The Obliged, Rick Grimes is trying to lead a heard of walkers away from the bridge. Daryl even told Rick to let the walkers go over the bridge and to let them fall down on it, but Rick wouldn’t do it:

"I’m not destroying the bridge. We need it."

Rick travels on horseback and even takes a nasty fall in the process, severely injuring himself just to lead the walkers away and not destroy the bridge. One might wonder, why does Rick care so much about the bridge? The answer is far more meaningful than you think.

Rick wants to re-build the bridge and keep it safe, for Carl. He promised Carl that he would put the past of fighting and killing others behind him. Instead of trying to solve problems with more violence, he would create a way for a better future where everyone can coexist together. Rick is trying to build many bridges in that sense amongst all of the communities.

Building these bridges between people is all that Rick has left to honor Carl by. This was Carl’s dying wish to Rick, to build more bridges and brighter futures for everyone.

This is why Rick got so emotional in The Obliged when he was telling Daryl why they can’t kill Negan. If Negan dies, then so does that bridge that Rick is trying to build between them. If Negan dies, just like Rick said to Daryl, Carl would have died for nothing.

Rick wants to keep Negan alive and continue to “build these bridges” with the Saviors and the others in order to keep his promise to Carl.

Rick isn’t going to give up on Carl’s vision for the future. As we saw in the tail end of this episode, Rick is willing to make a dangerous sacrifice in order to keep the promise that he made to his son.

The Walking Dead panel discussion: The Obliged. dark. Next

Be sure to tune in on Sunday to find out the fate of Rick Grimes in his final episode of The Walking Dead on AMC.