Walking Dead: What happened to Rick Grimes? Is he dead or alive?

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 24 - Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 24 - Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC /

There are many fan-favorite characters in The Walking Dead series. As with any series, fans find some common ground or trait that draws them to a character making them their favorite. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is adored by many, but even those who haven’t chosen Rick as their favorite agree he is vital to the story. Although he has been missing from the series since season 9, Rick is very much alive.

The Walking Dead Rick Grimes season 1
The Walking Dead Rick Grimes season 1 /

During the pilot episode, viewers were introduced to Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes. He and his partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) were enjoying food and talking about life when the call came over the radio. This call would see Rick shot and hospitalized, where he spent the beginning of the outbreak in a coma.

When he finally woke, the world had significantly altered, and luckily he encountered Morgan Jones (Lennie James), who would aid him in piecing together what had occurred while he was in the coma.

What happens to Rick in The Walking Dead?

Throughout the series, Rick leads the main group of survivors. His decisions didn’t always turn out as planned, but he always tried to do what was best for the group and his family.

During season 9, Rick made the ultimate sacrifice. To save those he loved, he blew up a bridge to prevent a horde of walkers from coming into their communities. The onlookers believed he died but was blown clear and taken away to the CR (Civic Republic). Only viewers and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) were privy to this information.

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

That was Rick’s last appearance in the flagship series until the finale episode aired on AMC on November 20, 2022. During a coda scene of the last episode of the series, Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) appeared with a short glimpse into their lives.

Rick’s scenes showed that the CR had held him captive but had escaped. This was years before Michonne discovered that he didn’t die and went in search of him. Viewers also saw a CRM helicopter locate Rick, and it is assumed he was recaptured.

The next chapter of Rick’s story will be told in a spinoff series that will see the return of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) to The Walking Dead universe. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live which filmed in New Jersey and New York. Lincoln and Gurira co-created the series with showrunner and executive producer Scott M. Gimple, also the chief creative officer of AMC’s Walking Dead Universe. Lincoln and Gurira will also serve as executive producers of this series, with season one comprising six episodes.

In the summer of 2022, when the series was announced at SDCC, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that “those six episodes will not be a limited series, but rather the first season of a continuing series starring the duo.” But since then, reports have circulated that this will be a limited one-season series.

 The official logline for the Rick & Michonne series reads:

"Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive – or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?"

UPDATE May 2023: Filming of the Rick & Michonne series wrapped in May 2023 and is expected to release in 2024. This spinoff will be the seventh of The Walking Dead universe, which will see these two characters’ long-awaited reunion. Pollyanna McIntosh will return as Jadis and Lucifer actress Lesley-Ann Brandt will play a new character named Pearl Thorne.

At SDCC 2023, AMC announced the official title and featured a teaser clip for the upcoming series. Set to release in 2024, The Ones Who Live will continue Rick and Michonne’s iconic love story.

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