Rick Grimes is portrayed by English actor Andrew Lincoln, who is well known for his roles in Love Actually and Penguin Bloom. In 2018, Lincoln announced that he would be leaving the series in which he starred since the first season in 2010. If he didn't die, what happened to Rick?
AMC announced that season 9 of The Walking Dead would be Rick's last. Fans, unsure of what his ending would entail, braced themselves for the worst: Rick Grimes would die. But the creators had another idea, and although Rick was put in a life-or-death situation, he would survive and be rescued by an unlikely character.
Anne, formerly known as Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), joined Rick's group at the invitation of Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) after Simon (Steven Ogg) murdered her Scavengers. It would eventually be revealed that she had been trading people to the CRM (Civic Republic Military) in order to obtain supplies for her group. When Gabriel decides that Rick must know about her deal with the CRM, she plans to escape. The CRM wants someone in exchange for her removal from the location, and she discovers Rick on the river bank.
When a horde begins to descend on the communities, the only plan Rick can come up with to save everyone is to blow up the bridge they had been repairing. In doing so, he is caught in the blast and blown clear. Onlookers, including his wife Michonne (Danai Gurira), watch in horror as they believe he died in the explosion.
Anne negotiates her removal via helicopter on the promise of a person for trade. She sees Rick on the river bank, badly injured but still alive. They fly away to an unknown location. This was the departure of Rick Grimes from the main series.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
When AMC announced Lincoln's departure from The Walking Dead, they cushioned the blow with another announcement. Lincoln would return for a trilogy of movies focused on Rick. This has since been replaced by a spinoff series, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which will also see Danai Gurira's return as Michonne.
The Ones Who Live will premeire on AMC and AMC+ on February 25, 2024. This story will continue the "epic love story" of Rick and Michonne and fill viewers in on what has transpired since they left the main series. McIntosh has also been announced to return as Jadis, with additional cast members Lesley-Ann Brandt, Terry O'Quinn, and Matthew Jeffers.