Every year we go through the routine of saying "The Walking Dead gets bigger this year." It's been true each time but never more so than Season 7. What started as the introduction of Negan quickly lead to the inclusion of new communities such as Oceanside, the Kingdom, and apparently a new bunch of spies who are lurking around Alexandria.
For Rick Grimes, a man who started his survival outside of Atlanta and made a journey to Alexandria with his remaining family, the introductions to all of these groups has been more than eye-opening. It has all cornered him into a new way of life and perspectives on humanity. In an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, Rick actor Andrew Lincoln shared his perspective on the effects this new and expanded world has had on the character.
"I think certainly obviously in the first eight, the realization and all through the end of last season, meeting Negan and the Saviors was a huge blow to his world view," Lincoln said. "Certainly, what happens learning about The Kingdom, reopening negotiations with The Hilltop, and then, as you will see in the back eight, you see other civilizations give Rick a new sense of hope that the Saviors can be challenged."
Rick has been completely broken through the aforementioned eight episodes. However, the final moments of The Walking Dead's 2016 episodes showed him getting his python back with the first signs of rebellion against Negan beginning to show. "Rick's swagger is back and he's reclaimed his mojo," Lincoln said. "He's getting his strut back. That was exciting, but also, as you said before, there's a palpable sense that the world is a lot bigger and he has to change as a man and as a leader as a result."
Rick, of course, learned a lesson in being too confident when Season 6 came to a close. We will see if that is taken into account when he begins rallying against Negan on Sunday nights.
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The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead's third season does not yet have a premiere date but with The Walking Dead finale set for April 2, expectations for Fear's return are set for April 9. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.