During times of war, Rick Grimes is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his community and family safe on The Walking Dead. According to the AMC series' showrunner, that includes making the ultimate sacrifice.
Scott Gimple opened up about the tough times ahead for Rick Grimes in a recent interview, just as the series is set to begin production on its eighth season in Georgia. The showrunner's tease is consistent with series writer/creator Robert Kirkman's long running promise to kill Rick "eventually."
According to Gimple, Rick “will suffer any loss, even his own self to give his people and other people the life that they should live, where the world belongs to all of them and not just one person. A real life." It's something Rick has been striving for since leaving Atlanta. He had hoped to find some sort of civilization along the way but after encounters such as Terminus and the Governor, Rick realizes rebuilding the world on his own is the only viable option.
“That’s the only choice,” Gimple said. “So he’s willing to face the losses.”
This doesn't mean Rick would deal with the loss of someone close to him without a deal of grief. He is not becoming a cold-hearted leader despite the willingness to do what is necessary. “It isn’t that he’s willing to shake them off if they were to occur, or immediately rationalize them away,” Gimple says, “but he understands the enormity of what they are doing and the enormity of the possible cost.”
This all takes fans back to Rick's conversation with Michonne in Episode 7x12 which saw him telling his girlfriend that if either of them are to die, the other will have to continue their efforts in rebuilding the world. Killing Rick, however, would be a major deviation from The Walking Dead's comic book source material. Over 165 issues in (with the show at an equivalent of around issue 115), Rick Grimes is alive and well despite having only one hand and using the other to walk with a cane.
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The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.