If you’re a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead then chances are you’re already aware of the big news currently circulating, but if you’re not up to date then you might want to brace yourself. According to Collider, the show’s lead star Andrew Lincoln is leaving the show at the end of the ninth season.

The actor, who has been on the series from day one, will exit the show before the end of the new season. It is being reported that he’ll appear in roughly half-a-dozen episodes and then he’s gone.

Nothing has been confirmed by Lincoln or by AMC, but the news hasn’t been denied either, suggesting there is some truth to the story. This of course now begs the question, is this the end for The Walking Dead?

Actually, perhaps the question should be, should this be the end for The Walking Dead?

I’ve been a fan of The Walking Dead for a number of years, having read the comic long before it was taken to TV. The comics were great, the series became a good adaptation and I’ve been pretty much on board throughout.

Well, that was until around Season Seven. I’ll be honest, I struggled with Season Seven. It wasn’t due to the deaths of Glenn and Abraham or the fact that Negan seemed to become a pantomime villain, it was more to do with the general stagnation that set in with the exploration of the Hilltop setting and associated communities.

For me, The Walking Dead works better when it is on the move. Stopping in a location for too long turns the series into a soap opera and that’s not really what appeals to me about the show.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against soaps – I’m a big fan of Neighbours – but I’m not sure I’d want to see a zombie apocalypse break out in Erinsborough. Although, the thought of an undead Lou Carpenter eating up the residents of Ramsay Street does leave me feeling a little curious.

Ramsay Street

But I digress… Lou Carpenter isn’t even in Neighbours anymore.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yes, The Walking Dead.

I wasn’t a fan of Season Seven of The Walking Dead, it bored me and I’ll be honest I’ve not yet caught up on Season Eight. I will do, but at the moment I really don’t feel up for it. I’ve gone from really enjoying the show to becoming very disconnected from it and I’m not sure the possible departure of Andrew Lincoln will help change my feelings.

Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes, has always been the central figure of the story. Sure, the show has become an ensemble piece over time, but Grimes remained the heart and I don’t know if it can continue without his presence.

Daryl Dixon

Image: AMC

There’s a rumour doing the rounds which suggests that Norman Reedus will be promoted to the series lead, so that fan-favourite character, Daryl Dixon can become the main focus. If this is true then this could be the correct way forward for the show as Daryl, like Rick, has been on an emotional journey, but will this be enough to keep the show going?

I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure.

What do you think? If this is the final run for Rick Grimes, do you think that the show should come to an end or do you think it could continue for years with a new direction and a new lead?

Sound off in the comments.